I Have Applied for Both SSDI and SSI Benefits, How Will My Benefits Be Calculated?

If you have applied for both SSDI and SSI benefits, and get approved by Social Security, you will probably wait longer to get your past-due benefits than someone who is getting only SSDI or only SSI.

Here are some things to keep in mind while SSA calculates your past-due benefits:

  • Both programs will calculate the benefits you should have been paid during the time you were disabled.
  • The SSDI program generally takes less time than SSI to do the calculations.
  • It will most likely take several months for your back benefits to be calculated and paid to you.
  • Social Security has what it calls a “Windfall Offset” provision. This means that you cannot get the full amount of both SSDI and SSI for the same month. One has to offset the other.
  • If your SSDI monthly-benefit is less than the current SSI rate, you will get ongoing checks from both programs, and you will also be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
  • For many people, this is the best scenario, because Medicaid pays for medications without the cost of an insurance premium or co-pays that come with part-D prescription coverage under Medicare.

Should I drop my SSI application if it will take less time to get my back benefits?

Sometimes we recommend that a client drop their SSI application.

  • For those clients, the SSI application will result in no extra or very little extra money.
  • These clients are eligible for some past-due SSI, but not ongoing monthly SSI payments because their SSDI is over the current SSI benefit rate.
  • They also don’t have any outstanding medical bills that Medicaid might pay.
  • But those circumstances are best judged by an attorney that is knowledgeable about Social Security claims.


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