Vincent J. Alfera
Attorney at Law

2321 2nd Street, Ste. 115
Cuyahoga Falls, OH  44221
(330)  922-0927
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480 W. Tuscarawas, Ste. 206
Barberton, OH 44203

330-745-5061

Hours by appointment Only

alferaesq@att.net

Social Security or SSI?


Social Security Disability and SSI

There are several different disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration.   However there are two basic programs that most people will be applying for when submitting an application with Social Security:

1. Social Security disability, and you may hear people in the system refer to this as “DIB” (which stands for Disability Insurance Benefits) and “Title II” (from Title II of the Social Security Act).  To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, you must work and pay taxes into the Social Security trust fund for a specified number of years. Generally, there is no asset limitation that can keep you from receiving these benefits. However, you cannot get Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits if you have not worked and paid into the Social Security trust fund, and the work must be in recent years. 

Why is this important to you?  If you have not worked and paid into the trust fund in recent years, you may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, and you may have problems qualifying for SSI benefits if you have any substantial assets. In other words, if you have substantial assets you must qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits in order to get any assistance because in these situations you cannot get SSI benefits.

2.  The SSI program, which stands for Supplemental Security Income.  Unlike the DIB program, SSI does have income and asset limitations. You have to prove that you are disabled and that your income and asset levels are very low in order to qualify for SSI.   Even if you have never paid payroll taxes into the Social Security trust fund, you might qualify for SSI benefits. However, the SSI program has very tough income and asset limitations.  For example, right now, most people cannot get SSI benefits if they have over $2,000 in a bank account or some other form of liquid assets (for example, stocks or bonds). 

If you are having problems with the Social Security Administration telling you that you do not have enough work credits to get Disability Insurance Benefits, or you have too many assets to get SSI, you need to consult with an attorney who is experienced in dealing with this system.  


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