If you’ve applied for both SSDI and SSI benefits, and get approved by Social Security, you’ll 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.