Payment Differences Between SSDI and SSI

If you or your child are suffering a disability, you may be eligible for help from the Social Security Administration. There are 2 programs under the SSA that are meant for the disabled, and they are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI benefits are an entitlement available to those disabled who have earned work credits by being in the workforce for 10 years and made contributions to FICA, only for adults.

SSI is intended to help low-income disabled with extra money for food and shelter, and disabled children could qualify for these payments. You must have a very low income and few assets to qualify for SSI benefits.

Similarities Between SSDI and SSI

SSDI and SSI have a lot in common. They are both Social Security Administration programs, and they both require that you meet the SSA’s criteria for disability. However, they differ in size of payments you can receive, and when you’ll receive your payments.

Differences between SSDI and SSI payments

SSDI and SSI differ in how much you can receive in benefits. Because SSDI benefits are based on your earning record and not your income, the amount of payment varies from person to person. People with disabilities can receive much bigger payments from SSDI than from SSI. In 2020, the average SSDI payment will be around $1,237 per month.

SSI benefits are strictly limited. The most you can receive in SSI benefits, or the FBR (Federal Benefit Rate), in 2020, is $783 per month. However, many states offer a small supplementary benefit as well, which is helpful.

SSI Payment Dates

It can be confusing trying to figure out when your benefits will be paid. With SSI payments, it’s simple, because you will be paid on the 1st of each month after your application. If the 1st falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a federal holiday, you will be paid on the business day before then. For example, if the 1st on the month falls on a Saturday, you’ll receive your benefits the Friday before.

Most recipients of SSI payments prefer to receive their funds online via direct deposit, or the Direct Express card program, but if your funds are mailed to you, they may be a couple days late. The SSA asks that you not contact them about lost checks until the fourth day after the first of the month.

SSDI Payment Dates

With SSDI payments, it’s another story. The date of your benefit is determined by your birthday, and there are 3 brackets.

  • If your birthday falls between the 1st and 10th of the month, you’ll receive SSDI benefits on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.
  • If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th of the month, your benefits will come the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
  • If your birthday falls between the 21st and the last day of the month, your payments will come on the 4th Wednesday of every month.

These SSDI benefits are paid on accrual, meaning the benefits you receive for one month equals the amount owed for the month before.

If you are eligible for SSI and SSDI benefits, and receive them in one payment, the date of payment will be the 3rd day of every month.

When applying for SSDI and SSI benefits, it’s wise to consult a disability attorney. The attorney can help you optimize the benefits you receive, and appeal any denied claims, as well as guide you through the application process.