Can you get both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Can I get both SSDI and SSI?

I recently wrote about the difference between Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

But, can you get both: SSI and SSDI?

Depending on your circumstances, yes.

The maximum you can receive on SSI is based on the annual Federal Benefit Rate (FBR).  For 2014, the FBR is $721.  That mean the most you can receive on SSI in $721 per month.

Disability Insurance Benefits are based on your payroll contribution to Social Security.  The more you have paid into Social Security, the more in monthly benefits you may be entitled to.

The only way to get both SSDI and SSI is for your SSDI benefits to be less than the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). 

If that happens, and you qualify financially for SSI, you can also get Supplemental Security Income to pay up to the Federal Benefit rate.

I realize this may sound like a bunch of legalistic gobbledygook. So, here is a quick example:

Let’s say you only qualify for $500 per month in Social Security disability insurance benefits.

SSI may pay you an additional $221 to bring your total monthly benefits up to the Federal Benefit rate.

Extra credit point: Actually, you get an extra $20 because of an offset, bringing the maximum you can get up to $241.

However, if you get $800 from SSDI, you will probably get nothing from SSI, because you already are receiving more than the $721 Federal Benefit Rate in SSDI.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • Eastwood

    Thanks for clearing by doubt..I was wondering how some people are getting both ssi and ssdi.. i tried to ask somebody but i haven't get clear definition..This one is good and can be understand easily..

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    I was wondering how some people are getting both ssi and ssdi.. i tried to ask somebody but i haven't get clear definition..This one is good and can be understand easily..

  • minigames

    I feel like it would be pretty difficult to get both, but I guess we might as well try.

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    hanks for clearing by doubt..I was wondering how some people are getting both ssi and ssdi.. i tried to ask somebody but i haven't get clear definition..This one is good and can be understand easily..

  • Bethesue

    I will be eligible for Social Security in November. I work at the computer but have to use a push pedal with my feet which has given me neuropathy (several doctor diagnoses) and constant pain. Would I be able to collect diability and also Social Security (which I paid into for 40 years). Thanks.

  • liz nielsen

    I was approved for ssi. that im disabiled, I cant work. then i recieved an inhartence, at the same time , so i gifted it all to help the homeless, the same day it was cashed, i sent proof of that, signetures from the people i gave it to, now im not eligable for 3 years, i have no income at all. and no bank accounts either. so i appealed it . to the alj. im tring to get help with this case,………..

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I strongly encourage you to speak to a lawyer in your area.

  • Jbbryant09

    Question Tom !! Hi !!
    I Posted A Question A Few Days Ago & You Replyed To It Thanks !! Please Answer Another One !!
    Ok , Im 51 Will be 52 In March , I Got Approved For Disability !! I Worked For 30 years At The Same Job before , Not Being Able To Work !! Will I get , ssi Or ssdi or both , My Wife Works Part Time At Walmart And Make Ruffly $ 650.00 A Month , I Have A 98 Dodge stratus Worth , About $1500.00 Dollars And $ No Money In The Bank, And We Get Food Stamps Right Now !! Im Thinking I Will probly get regular Disability , And Not ssi , What Do You Thank From What Ive Just Told You !! Im Trying To Narrow It Down Please !! Please Reply , ASAP !! Thank You Bennie !!!

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    You have to be careful about counting your chickens before they are hatched. Whether an individual receives SSDI or SSI benefits depends on the program they applied for. The Notice of Decision from the hearing office will state the name of the program on the same page that it says “Fully Favorable” or “Partially Favorable.” The program name is usually just above and to the right.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the judge decides the disability issue. In other words, the judge answers the question, “is this individual disabled?” The judge does *not* decide whether the individual is entitled to benefits. It is possible to be found disabled and not qualify for any benefits.

    After the judge issues his or her decision, Social Security begins to process the benefits. This step includes deciding on the amount of monthly benefits as well as the back benefits.

    SSI benefits are capped at the Federal Benefit Rate of $674/mo. http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2008/01/how-much-can-i-get-per-month-on-ssi/

    SSDI benefits are based on an individual’s contribution to Social Security (paid through payroll taxes). An individual’s annual “Social Security Statement” provides an estimate of the SSDI amount.

    For more information on the difference between SSI & SSDI check out http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/04/what-is-the-difference-between-disability-insurance-benefits-dib-and-supplemental-security-income-ssi/

  • Anonymous

    I was found to be disabled literally one week ago. After reading a variety of articles. i’ve come to realize that I am still in the dark as to how the process plays out. I was told that I was eligible for in the area of 900 dollars a month by Social security, and this was reiterated by my attorney at the time of the hearing. I have been declared eligible as of april, 2008. I applied for both SSDI and supplemental. Will I be receiving back pay from april of 08? If not, would I receive it from five months after the april decision?

    Another issue i’m really confused about is this. I have been receiving general assistance from the town I live in for 2 years. It was at their urging that I applied for Supplemental in addition to the Disability claim I had already made. They maintained that the Supplemental would compensate them for anything they had paid out to assist me and would not affect the amount of backpay I receive. Does this make sense to you or were they not telling me the entire story?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Yes, it makes sense. :)

    Your lawyer should be able to walk you through this. However, I can discuss it generally.

    How far back SSA pays back benefits is discussed here: http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/04/how-far-back-does-social-security-pay-benefits/

    The main thing to remember is that the date SSA found you disabled is related, but separate from how far back they can pay. This article goes over this topic (including the 5 month waiting period on DIB claims): http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2009/04/what-is-the-5-month-waiting-period-in-disability-insurance-cases/

    Taking a look at those two articles should clear up how this works.

    As far as the state interim assistance, in Colorado at least, that gets paid back to the state out of SSI benefits **for the same months that you received the interim benefits**. So, only out of the back SSI, if any. If an individual got interim assistance for 01/10, 02/10 & 03/10, but receives SSI back benefits for only 03/10, then the state is paid back for interim assistance for 03/10 only. The individual does not pay back the interim assistance benefits for 01/10 or 02/10 **even if they also receive DIB benefits for those months.**

    That is the general idea. Again, I can only comment on how the interim assistance program, Aid for the Needy Disabled (AND), works in Colorado.

    If this has been helpful, consider tweeting, digging, or putting a link up to this site on facebook. Thanks!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JPUSM4OYW5KYUJ7B4D7MGFDOJI Terry

    I am 50 years old and applied for both ssi and ssdi in july of 2011 today i was told i was approved for both and my disability would be from july19,2011 how does this work with getting both ssi and ssd

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    As noted in the post, you can only receive both if SSDI is less then the max SSI pays. In that case, SSI “supplements” up to the max (currently $674, increasing to $698 in 2012). If SSDI benefits are more than the SSI max, an individual receives SSDI only. Good luck, Terry!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EEEXUEZBX235RARQMTQXKJ3UAU Pedro

    I recieve gross 765 a month after deductions of child support I actually bring home 383.50 a month,would I qualify to recieve ssi?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    Your local Social Security office will be able to tell you if you are eligible to apply for SSI. 

  • Jbspita

    Our daughter receives SSI because of a disability that she had before the age of 22, my husband is applying for SSDI. I know that our daughter will qualify for SSDI under my husbands work history, will it be in addition to SSI or instead of SSI? Or does the same apply with the amount and not exceeding the FBA?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    AFAIK it is usually whichever is greater. However, a child over 18 & disabled before age 22 may be eligible for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits based on the parents’ contribution to Social Security. These are often higher than the SSI benefits the child may otherwise be eligible for. And, unlike the auxiliary benefits discussed in this article, DAC does not require that the parent be disabled. See http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2008/09/nidich-on-disabled-adult-child-benefits-dac/

    DAC is not widely publicized and it can easily be overlooked as a potential benefit. You may want to ask your local SSA office about them for your daughter. 

  • April

    Im trying so hard to find an answer. I get ssi for me and my 2 kids when their father passed. I have been told you can’t get both ssi and disability. I have always work 2 jobs until after my husband passes. While dealing with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and grief I’m also dealing with medical problems a woman hit me in a car accident not even 2 weeks after I lost my husband and caused major nerve damage,more anxiety and depression, severe migranes,fibromiligia, I have lost Alot of movement in my left arm and it’s extremely painful. I haven’t called to ask because everyone has said I can’t get it because 3 of us draw but I still almost 5 Years later pay so much money in medical bills to 4 specialist and I don’t see how that’s fair that my husband and I worked starting at 15 and I can’t work now because the anxiety, depression, pain , and all the grief from losing my husband. He was in the army so I have been told that’s why as well even though more money is going out then in because of all the medical bills not to mention counciling for the kids. I was also told to no file alone have someone representing me and my family is this true?if you could please help me to take the proper steps or tell me if we even qualify??? Thanks do much!!!

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Contact Social Security to see what benefits you may be eligible for. They can tell you. Anyone else is just guessing. :)

  • Stella

    We have a disabled daughter (23) who collect SSDI benefits under my husband SS.  We thought she would collect half of what my husbands gets,  but it is not quite half.  Exactly what percentage does a disabled dependent collect?  Thanks for your help.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Auxiliary benefits amounts are discussed here: http://www.socialsecurityinsider.com/2011/05/how-much-does-social-security-pay-in-auxiliary-benefits/

    For specific information about your daughter’s benefits, I encourage you to contact Social Security.

  • guest

    if my aunt is filing for disability for stroke, hypertension, and diabetes, can she be approved if she has only had a job as a greeter, janitor, and stocking shelves for dollar mart? also her daughter pays for her rent and utilities but the money comes from my aunt’s income tax. its just deposited in her daughter’s bank account because she receives unemployment and doesnt have a bank to deposit money from

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    It is not a question of what the job was, but whether your aunt worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. If not, she may still be eligible for SSI. However, only Social Security can tell you (or her) for sure.

  • Matt

    I’m 50 years old and recently disabled and receiving SSI and live alone and struggling to get by. What kind of programs are there out there that I can get to help me with day to day living?

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    I can’t answer that for you. However, your local Department of Human Services / Department of Social Services should be able to help you find programs that may be able to help. Also networking with support organizations or groups in your area is also a good way of figuring out what is out there. Good luck Matt!

  • dave

    I was approved on march 11 2014 my judge changed my onset date to march 11 2013 id originally signed up 1-1-2011. My question is i was told id get ssi for 5 months then ssdi after .how is this

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk
  • Amy Jo Turner

    I dont understand how they expect people whom are not physically able to work to survive on that kind of money. In many ways its not our fault we are poor. We work hard 10-15 hours a day and we only get by, there is no extra for things like AFLAC or Disability insurance. Yet we are penalized and told well if you would have gone to college. With what money, when you have to work 10-15 hours a day to just feed yourself and keep a roof over your head, when are you supposed to go to college. Then out of nowhere your husband gets SWINE FLU (H1N1), develops into pneumonia and then has a massive stroke within a matter of hours. He can no longer work, ever again. How is is supposed to survive on a few hundred bux (1500 per month is not alot of money). How are we supposed to survive when I have been a housewife for 20 years. Its eve worse for others, who can live on 600 per month?? Its not like they can supplimet their income. Especially people with TBI’s. What if they have no family? Why are we sending money all over the world and helping illegals with school when we dont really do shit for our own people that are suffering, I dont understand.