SSDI vs. SSI: The Differences Between Title 2 and Title 16 Disability

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Benefits

The federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be complicated. In short, Title 2 of the Social Security Act is typically identified as the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and Title 16 is typically identified as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

The main difference between Title 2 and Title 16 disability programs is that the benefits you receive from Title 2 come from accumulated work credits and the benefits you receive from Title 16 are from the government.

While both programs provide benefits to individuals with disabilities, and medical eligibility is determined in the same way, there are well-defined differences between the two programs. The differences include who is eligible, how much you receive, and when your benefits start.

Should you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits? Get help from Disability Apply today! 

An Overview of SSDI (Title 2)

SSDI is intended to provide income supplements to individuals who are physically or mentally restricted from being employed because of a disability.

The qualifications to receive benefits between SSDI and SSI are different. For example, according to the SSA, to be granted SSDI benefits, an applicant must meet these qualifications:

  • Have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
  • The condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
  • Be under the age of 65.
  • Have accumulated 20 social security credits in the last 10 years before the start of the disability.

The SSA has a formula they use to calculate and determine the amount you will be paid for your disability benefit. The formula is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.

Then, if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, there is a five-month waiting period. This means, if your application is approved, your first SSDI payment will be paid for the sixth full month after the date your disability began.

How is Title 16 (SSI) Different?

SSI is designed to help the elderly, and both disabled children and adults with funding for basic needs like shelter, food, and other essentials. This federal program provides monthly payments to people with little to no income who might not be able to work and have limited resources.

To qualify for these benefits, you must meet a different set of requirements established by the SSA. The requirements include:

  • Must be 65 years old or older.
  • Be totally or partially blind.
  • Have a medical condition that keeps you from working for at least one year or will result in death.

As stated before, the main difference between SSDI and SSI is that benefits provided from SSDI are paid from contributions a person has made to Social Security over their lifetime, and not from government tax revenues. Comparatively, SSI provides funding from the U.S. Treasury general funds. Additionally, some states add money to SSI payments.

According to the SSA, the monthly maximum SSI payment in 2020 is $783 for one person or $1,175 for a couple. Despite this, not everyone receives the same amount because of the state you live in, where and whom you live with, and if you have other sources of income.

When thinking about the timeline of receiving payments, SSI benefits are payable the first month in which the application is submitted. There is no waiting period, unlike SSDI benefits.

Get Help From A Disability Representative Today

Understanding the difference between Title 2 and Title 16 disability programs can be stressful. If you are planning to apply for SSDI or not sure if you qualify for SSI, it is important to contact a disability representative to walk through the application process.

Do not let the complexity of the process or the uncertainty about your eligibility prevent you from pursuing your claim and receiving all benefits you are eligible for. To avoid losing time and to ensure that you or your loved one receives the maximum benefit possible, contact Disability Apply. We are ready to help!

Simply complete this free evaluation form.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    1. Do you expect to be out of work for at least 12 months?

    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

    5. Are you currently working with a disability advocate?

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