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Q
Can you collect SSI and SSDI at the same time?

A

In some cases, SSI and SSDI benefits may be collected at the same time. A concurrent claim must be filed if applying for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Claimants can apply for and collect either SSI or SSDI benefits or both at the same time. Although these are different types of benefits, the common factor these claims will share is determining whether or not the person is disabled. The same evaluation and criteria will be used under both programs.

In order to be eligible to collect under both programs, not only must the person be considered disabled according to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability, but also his or her income and resources must be limited even after collecting the SSDI benefits.

Benefits of Filing a Concurrent Claim

Whatever amount a person would qualify to receive under SSDI likely would increase if it’s found he or she does not receive the minimum under the SSI program. This increased amount can make a significant difference financially.

Another benefit is that those who receive SSDI automatically qualify to receive Medicare after two years. Those who receive SSI immediately qualify to receive Medicaid in the state of North Carolina. Individuals may, therefore, be able to qualify for both types of government healthcare coverage.

SSDI Benefit Amounts

Monthly payments are based on lifetime wages prior to the disability. The more paid into Social Security, the higher the amount is likely to be. In 2013, the average payment is estimated at $1,132.

Sometimes SSDI payments are reduced when a person receives other types of compensation, such as Workers’ Compensation. However, SSI benefits won’t cause a reduction in SSDI benefits. In fact, it may increase the overall monthly payments received.

SSI Benefit Amounts

Minimum monthly payments for SSI are based on the federal benefit rate (FBR). In 2013, the rate is $710 each month for individuals and $1,066 for couples. When there are cost-of-living increases, the amount goes up. However, the amounts also can decrease, depending on certain types of income received.

For example, if a person receives SSDI benefits of $250 per month, he or she may collect SSI in the amount of $460 to meet the minimum $710 monthly SSI payment for individuals. Despite how low SSDI benefits may be, only a few actually will qualify to receive both that and SSI.

However, if the individual receives more than $710 in SSI, he or she cannot collect SSI and SSDI at the same time because the disability benefits would exceed the SSI minimum.

According to SSA, there are 11,736,104 recipients (including the disabled and dependents) who received SSDI in 2011, and there were 5,430,932 recipients (disabled and dependents) who received SSI in 2011. Meanwhile, one in six disabled beneficiaries also received SSI, according to SSA.

Seeking Help from an Attorney in Raleigh When Disabled

Eligibility for SSI and SSDI benefits is based on SSA’s definition of disability. There are strict eligibility requirements that must be met, and many initial claims are denied. Sometimes this can be avoided by seeking legal counsel from the start.

However, an attorney from Brent Adams & Associates may be able to help if a claim was denied or if there are questions concerning qualifying for both types of benefits. It may be helpful to seek legal advice when looking to collect SSI and SSDI at the same time.