Can I collect Social Security and disability at the same time?
It is possible to recieve both arms of Social Security support with what the organisation calls “concurrent” payments.
Around 17 million Americans received payments from either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the end of 2021.
Eligibility requirements for SSI benefits are fairly strict as the programme is designed to support specific groups of low-income Americans. Recipients of SSI payments must be aged 65 or older, blind or disabled. The eligibility for SSDI payments are more difficult as claimants must have a disability, from this list, that prevents them from working.
For claimants, there are no rules in place to prevent them from receiving both parts of benefit support. However, receiving both payments could take you over the income threshold for SSI payments as SSDI payments are included in counting towards the eligibility for the former.
What money can be received from the two benefit systems?
Unlike SSI payments, SSDI benefits have no financial cut off point and are provided to recipients regardless of their financial situation. This means that if people are receiving both payments then the SSDI payments could detract from SSI payments.
Lets break it down. SSI payments have an income threshold that recipients must fall underneath to qualify. In 2022, the SSI standard for limited income is income of up to $841 a month for an individual or $1,261 a month for a couple in which both people are beneficiaries.
This limited income is called “countable income”, basically a way of measuring a recipients total income. This includes aspects like wages from jobs, pensions, and veterans benefits. Not all income is included in this, such as covid-19 stimulus payments and disaster assistance. Importantly, for our discussion, SSDI benefits are included as “countable income” as it falls under the category of “unearned income” like investments.
So yes, it is possible to receive payments for both bits of support. Be aware, however, that the claiming of SSDI benefits will detract from the amount of SSI received. Most of the time this will pose no problem, as SSI recipients will have retired from work anyway, preventing disabled claimants from receiving more support compared to able-bodied people.
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