SSI refers to Supplemental Security Income, a government assistance program for needy low income people. SSI pays monthly income to disabled adults under age 65, to disabled children under age 18 and to the qualifying poor age 65 and over. Social Security Retirement Income (SSRI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are available to workers who qualify by work experience. SSDI payments are automatically converted to an equal amount of SSRI at the recipient's full retirement age.
Dual Benefits --- SSRI and SSDI
The legal website, Elder Law Answers, comments that "beneficiaries who are eligible for more than one Social Security program --- say, disability and retirement benefits --- cannot collect more than one Social Security benefit simultaneously. If you are eligible for two benefit programs, you will receive the higher of the two benefit amounts, but not both." For example, a worker who takes early retirement at age 62 will receive a reduced benefit. If he continues to work and becomes disabled before his full retirement age, his disability benefit is not reduced for early retirement. He will receive the higher of the two benefits, not both.
Dual Benefits - SSDI and SSI
Under SSI, a disabled person whose past earnings qualify him for Social Security Disability Insurance can also receive SSI concurrently, without offset of his SSDI monthly payment. Prior to full retirement age, these payments will be labeled as disability benefits, and will continue after retirement age as retirement benefits. Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) are scheduled after one, three and seven years to review current medical reports to determine any change in status or improvement. Case backlogs in the system often delay these follow-up reviews several months or years.
Dual Benefits - Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Compensation
Employees receiving Temporary Partial Disability under their state's workers' compensation program may also be eligible for weekly unemployment compensation. However, the unemployment income would offset the workers' comp award. To be considered for unemployment income, the individual must prove that he is actively looking for work and that his disability will not prevent him from being able to fully carryout the duties of a new job. Although each state's workers' comp and unemployment comp laws are different, most states will deny unemployment income to a worker who voluntarily quits or is discharged for cause.
Dual Benefit Summary
Of the five federal and state programs under review, only Social Security retirement income provides lifetime income from inception. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be reduced or terminated prior to full retirement age if recipients no longer qualify as disabled or have monthly earnings, called Substantial Gainful Activity, over $1,000 or $1,640, if blind; based on the current indexed amount. Supplemental Security Income can be cut off, as well, when monthly income exceeds the limits set by the program. Unemployment compensation will only pay limited concurrent benefits together with workers' comp payments under the narrow conditions outlined earlier.