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What are the differences between SSDI and SSI?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) are two types of Social Security Disability (SSD) programs.

They are both administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide financial assistance to people who qualify as disabled under federal rules. They differ from one another in some important respects.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Eligibility for SSDI depends on the work history of the disabled person or their spouse or sometimes their parent. It does not depend on financial needs.

The average monthly SSDI payment in 2020 was $1258. The amount depends on the number of work credits the disabled person accumulated during his work history, so it can be considerably less or more.

SSDI recipients become eligible for Medicare after two years.

Social Security Income (SSI)

The SSI program is for disabled individuals who lack the means to pay for basic shelter and food. Eligibility depends on need. SSI can provide basic financial assistance to those who have no or very low income and few resources. Disabled people may be eligible for SSI regardless of their work history.

The standard SSI payment in 2020 was $783. States often add a small supplement.

SSI recipients usually become immediately eligible for Medicaid, which provides very comprehensive health care coverage.

If people qualify for both SSI and SSDI, they can receive both. However, the amount of the SSI payment decreases by the amount of any additional income. Therefore, if the SSDI amount they receive is more than the maximum SSI amount, they will not qualify for SSI.