Individuals may only collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the same time (known as concurrent benefits) if they meet certain requirements. An individual must be disabled and approved to receive payments under SSDI, but the monthly payments must be low enough that it also qualifies him/her for SSI.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance
First, let’s consider eligibility requirements for SSDI. The person must meet the definition of disability established by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This includes that the condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months (or cause death), the individual is unable to perform previous work, and is unable to adjust to other types of work.
The mental or physical condition must be severe enough and be found in the SSA Listing of Impairments. Finally, the individual must have worked long enough and recently enough to have earned an adequate number of work credits.
Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income
Once it has been established that someone qualifies for SSDI benefits, the next step is determining eligibility for SSI. This can be more complicated to figure out because the individual must not exceed certain income limits. The main factor is establishing that the person’s resources and income don’t surpass the threshold. If SSDI payments are too high then it could make someone ineligible for SSI.
How Monthly Payment is Established When Collecting Concurrent Benefits
Let’s say an individual’s unearned income must be less than $741 per month to qualify for SSI. After applying for SSDI, the SSA approves the claim and determines the individual is entitled to receive $900 each month in SSDI payments. Since that amount is higher than the maximum income limit of $741 to qualify for SSI, SSI wouldn’t be available.
However if the disability payment is $600, the individual would be entitled to both SSDI and SSI since it’s less than $741, but only up to the maximum SSI payment. In New York, the maximum payment for a person living alone is $808, which includes the federal and state payment.
Another advantage with concurrent benefits is that the individual might be entitled to Medicare. Those who only qualify for SSI generally cannot get Medicare coverage. But if the person is collecting concurrent benefits, then it may be available. Keep in mind there is a two-year waiting period from the date of eligibility for SSDI.
But those who receive SSI are automatically entitled to Medicaid (only a few states have an exception to this, but New York is not one of them). It’s important to note that with regard to Medicare and Medicaid, coverage for either isn’t necessarily guaranteed. It’s important to consult with Social Security to learn more about eligibility.