ssis and ssdi

What Is the Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

There are two types of disability programs that are managed by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA): Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Both programs are designed to provide those with disabilities with monthly benefit payments, but how one qualifies for the benefits is very different. If you are disabled, blind, aged, or the parent of a disabled or blind child, here’s what you need to know about the difference between SSI and SSDI:

Supplemental Security Income: An Overview

SSI is a type of income supplement program that provides cash to meet basic needs for those who are:

  • Blind; or
  • Disabled; or
  • Aged; and
  • Have limited income and resources.

Each of the above has its own definitions and requirements. For example, “blindness” means that you have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye when using correcting lenses or your visual field limitation is such that the widest diameter is no greater than 20 degrees. In order to be considered disabled, you must have a condition that results in severe functional limitations or the inability to perform substantial gainful activity (if you are an adult), and has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. The “aged” requirement is satisfied if you are age 65 or older.

Income requirements differ depending upon whether you are an adult or child, and whether you are single or married. Further, there are certain assets that are exempt from income and resources (for example, cash, vehicles, land, and life insurance are all considered resources). The resource limit for an individual/child is $2,000, and $3,000 for a couple.

Payment under SSI is based on the federal benefit rate, which changes yearly, minus your countable income.

Social Security Disability Insurance: Insurance for Disabled Workers

Unlike SSI benefits, SSDI benefits are for those who have worked and paid into the Social Security system, and as such are “insured.” Therefore, to qualify for SSDI benefits, a worker must have earned enough work credits, and have a qualifying. If you need any assistance with SSI benefits or SSDI benefits, contact our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys today. Call (205) 251-9000 or use our website contact form.

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