Social Security and the Difference Between Title II Disability and Title XVI SSI
As a Social Security Disability Attorney, representing Social Security Disability claimants from all over the State of Indiana from our Indianapolis offices, I am often asked why a Hoosier is not entitled to Social Security if they have not worked enough in the past ten years. This statement is always true but sometimes it may not be true. The key to this mystery is that there are two different types of Social Security for people who are disabled. The first type of Social Security is Title II Disability, sometimes referred to as SSDI. I do not like to refer to it as SSI because it can too easily be confused with SSI, which we will discuss in just a moment. The rules and regulations governing Title II Disability can be found in 20 CFR Part 404. CFR stands for Code of Federal Regulations. As part of this set of regulations, there can be found the requirement, that to be eligible for Title II Disability, the claimant must be have a disability that prevents them from working and is expected to last at least 12 months, AND the claimant must have worked for 20 out of the last 40 quarters. See 20 CFR Part 404.140 through 20 CFR Part 404.146. A quarter is one quarter of a year, so essentially you must have worked 5 out of the ten years immediately prior to the start of your disability to be eligible for Title II Disability.
The other type of disability, for those who are disabled, whose disability is expected to last more than a year AND have not worked 20 out of the last 40 quarters, is Title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The rules and regulations governing Title XVI SSI are found at 20 CFR Part 416. There are two essential differences between Title II and Tile XV!. The first is that the benefits payable under Title II Disability are based on your earnings history and are generally higher than those for Title XVI. The second is that there are quite a few restrictions and exclusions attached to Tile XVI SSI which are not attached to Title II Disability. A few examples of these differences include: If you are married, and your spouse is earning a substantial wage, your benefits for SSI are likely to be reduced to nothing, where as your spouse’s income is not counted at all against your Title II Disability payment. Another example is that if you are receiving SSI and someone pays your rent and for your food, those payments will reduce the amount of SSI payment you receive. However, with Title II Disability benefits will not decrease if someone else is paying your rent and food bills
Tip of the Day: If in doubt, when filing for benefits, file for both Title II Disability and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income. There is no penalty for doing so, and this will insure you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.