Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both programs that the Social Security Administration runs. These programs both involve supporting Americans with disabilities, but the populations that these programs serve are often very different from each other.
However, it is possible for individuals in some circumstances to be eligible for both SSDI and SSI. According to the AARP, the government calls these “concurrent benefits.”
How can I get both?
Whether or not you can have concurrent benefits depends heavily on your income level. In the majority of cases, if the Social Security Administration finds that an individual is eligible for SSDI, this automatically makes them ineligible for SSI.
The reason for this is that SSI is a needs-based program. Subsequently, you must have a low enough income and few enough assets for the government to approve you for these benefits. SSDI, on the other hand, relies on your work credits. The majority of people who have eligibility for SSDI will make too much money from SSDI and this will make them ineligible for SSI.
What are the benefits of getting both?
Particularly if you spent your working years in a low-wage job or were only able to work for a short period of time before your disability rendered you unable to do so, concurrent benefits can help you bridge the income gap.
Additionally, it can help you with health benefits. Whereas recipients of SSDI can get Medicare after 24 months of being on the program, SSI recipients get Medicaid access automatically. Depending on your situation, this can help you ensure that you have robust medical coverage.