The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two types of benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is based on your previous income and how long you paid Social Security taxes. SSI is based on your income and has strict financial limits.
You can receive both SSDI and SSI payments, but you have to meet the requirements of both programs. Therefore, the sum of both payments cannot be higher than your highest SSI payment. You would not have to apply for both separately, and if the SSA feels you meet the requirements and it’s necessary, they will approve you for concurrent benefits. Because of the SSI limit, many SSDI recipients are deemed ineligible for SSI because their SSDI payment is higher than the federal benefit rate (FBR) limit.
The SSI’s benefit payout follows the FBR, which defines the maximum monthly income limit and maximum SSI payment. In 2020, the FBR limit is $783 for individuals and $1,175 for couples. However, the SSI limits can be a bit confusing. Only about half of your income is considered countable towards SSA defined monthly income. This means you could be making almost $1,500 per month and still be eligible for SSI.
SSDI and SSI benefits together can be helpful because they could get you as much money as possible through the SSA. For example, if you are already qualify for SSDI benefits, getting approved for SSI could increase your payout to the maximum of $783. Even if you started off getting SSI benefits, applying for SSDI could also raise your payments to $783.
The other benefit of getting SSDI and SSI is that you could be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid together. SSI receipts in most states are eligible for Medicaid as soon as they are for SSI. SSDI recipients are eligible for Medicare two years after their disability onset date. Medicare is generally accepted by more doctors, but Medicaid is more affordable and you don’t have to wait for it.