Understanding SSI & SSDI

Phone: 317-710-7184 or 317-440-0637

Fax: 317-663-2659

E-mail: info@connections-in.com



What is the difference between Social Security Income (SSI) & Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a social insurance program under which workers earn coverage for benefits by working and paying Social Security taxes on their earnings. The program provides benefits to disabled workers and to their dependents. For more information visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10029.pdf


Social Security Income (SSI) makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind, or disabled regardless of work history. For more information visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11000.pdf


What are the eligibility requirements for a child under 18years old?

A child can qualify if he or she has a physical or mental condition, or combination of conditions, that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, AND if household income and resources fall within the eligibility limits. The following requirements must be met to be considered disabled as a child:

  • The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must very seriously limit a child’s activities.
  • The child’s condition(s) must have been disabling, or be expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or the condition(s) must be expected to result in death.

For more information visit: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf


As the child transitions to adulthood parents and guardians should learn what to expect as their Social Security benefits may change or be affected. Visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11005.pdf for more information.


What are the eligibility requirements for an adult 18 years old and over?

An individual age 18 or older is considered “disabled” if they have a physical or mental condition (or combination of conditions) that keeps them from working. The condition must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. The individual must also meet the income and resources criteria. For more information visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11015.pdf


How does Social Security eligibility affect Medicaid eligibility?
​As of June 1, 2014 Indiana transitioned to a 1634 state. 1634 status refers to a state’s method for determining Medicaid eligibility under the aged, blind, and disabled coverage category. 1634 is a section of the Social Security Act. In a “1634 state,” the Medicaid agency uses the same definition of disability as the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the purposes of determining eligibility for the Medicaid disability coverage category. When determining Medicaid eligibility for the disabled, the 1634 state accepts and gives precedence to SSA disability determinations for Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). With 1634 status individuals deemed eligible for SSI by SSA are automatically enrolled in Medicaid.


Because of this rule, INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE 18 YEARS AND OLDER MUST APPLY FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM TO MAINTAIN THEIR MEDICAID ELIGIBILITY STATUS. For those individuals who are transitioning from child to adulthood and receive an initial denial from SSA they may MAINTAIN their Medicaid during the appeals process.


Helpful Resources To learn more about disability benefits and for information on how to apply visit: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/


The Disability Starter Kit provides information for individuals and families to prepare for the application process and/or interview. https://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits.htm

The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities. https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/ ​