A lot of people in general, and professionals (attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, social workers, and others) confuse Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and SSI Disability Benefits. Also, receipt of SSDI triggers Medicare health insurance, and SSI triggers Medicaid.
It is important to understand the differences. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be paid to millionaires.
SSI disability benefits are paid to individuals who are disabled, but also meet two financial eligibility tests, less than $2,000 of countable resources (assets) and low monthly income. Although the $2,000 limitation seems harsh, SSI does not count a home of any value, one car of any value, the contents of the home, personal effects such as clothing and jewelry, and extra cash held in a Special Needs Trust.
To aid in seeing these relationships, we created a Matrix with updated 2009 eligibility figures.