As this blog has reported briefly, there are in fact two programs that the Social Security Administration manages, and both of them can properly be thought of as “disability” programs. However, the SSDI program and the SSI program differ in several important respects that may have an impact on Newark, New Jersey, residents.
Probably the biggest difference is that, for SSDI, a New Jersey resident need only show that the person qualifies as disabled and that the person has also made contributions in to the Social Security pension system. Effectively, the disabled person is pulling money out of the system early because the individual is not able to work.
SSI, on the other hand, requires that a person be both disabled and be of limited means. The amount that a person receiving SSI-related benefits receives does not depend in any way on whether the person, or the person’s closest relatives, paid in to the system.
Not surprisingly, the way in which the SSA figures the monthly benefits also varies between the two programs. With respect to SSDI, the Administration will simply calculate a person’s payout based on how much the individual has earned on average and over the course of the person’s work history. This benefit amount may be reduced if the person has received certain other payments, such as workers’ compensation.
On the other hand, a person who receives SSI will get a base amount — which was $733 a month in 2015. A married couple received $1,100 a month in 2015. The SSA will reduce this amount if a person receiving the benefit has “countable income,” which in turn is determined by figuring a person’s income and subtracting deductions provided for in the law.