If you are looking to apply for Social Security Disability in Florida, it is important to understand the ins and outs of the system. As you will quickly learn, Social Security is a very complex governmental organism. There are many different types of disability, and understanding the difference between them is key to getting the support you are looking for. Two different programs that are run by Social Security are Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and Social Security Disability Insurance, or, SSDI. According to Special Needs Answers, both of these programs are intended to help individuals who have federally-defined disabilities, but, after that, they do not have much in common.
SSI has very narrow requirements. In essence, SSI is designed to help individuals who are elderly, disabled, or blind, who would otherwise have a very difficult time funding food and shelter. SSI has very strict financial requirements attached to it. Typically, this is known as a “means-tested” benefit.
On the other hand, SSDI is an entitlement. Anybody who has paid into the social security system for at least 10 years is eligible to receive it if they have a federally defined disability. Even if you are a high-income earner, you may still be eligible for SSDI depending on your circumstances.
Another way to think about it is that recipients of SSI are more likely to have access to Medicaid. Recipients of SSDI are more likely to have access to Medicare. Many people apply to SSI in order to access the health benefits that are associated with it. On the other hand, recipients of SSDI become eligible for Medicare two years after receiving benefits.