SSI vs SSDI – What’s the Difference in Pennsylvania?

March 27, 2013

Difference Between Pennsylvania Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

SSI vs SSDIA frequent question the Pennsylvania Social Security attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams are asked involves Supplemental Security Income, often called SSI, and Social Security Disability, normally referred to as SSD or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance.) Essentially, they come down to how much you have worked in your life.

Did you Work Enough? Look to SSDI

In order to obtain SSDI in Pennsylvania, you need to have worked a certain amount of time and paid money in to the Social Security system.

The Social Security Administration provides a chart detailing how much you need to have worked, which varies based upon your age.  The system is based on credits.  Credits are “based on your total wages and self-employment during any given year.”  You can earn a maximum of four credits per year. The amount of earnings required for a credit varies from year-to-year.

Generally you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years. If you are too young to have worked this much, that doesn’t mean you are ineligible for SSDI. The requirements actually vary by age. As a result, if you are under 42, you need only to have earned 20 credits.


Not Enough Credits? Look to SSI

If you didn’t work enough to obtain the appropriate amount of credits, you will need to find out if you meet the Pennsylvania financial requirements to be eligible for SSI. The purpose of SSI is to help people who have “limited income and financial resources.” Those requirements are quite strict. Currently, you must have financial resources under $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple.) Second, you must meet specific income requirements. The requirements vary by year and by state, so social security income requirements in Pennsylvania are different from income requirements in California.



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