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What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Social Security Disability

If you want to seek Social Security Disability benefits, you may have the option to apply under two different programs.

Social Security Disability Insurance is one option. The other is Supplemental Security Income. Both will pay benefits due to disability, but the difference is in how your qualify. The programs also have some other important differences. In addition, there are some similarities worth noting.

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is a benefit you earn from working. You pay into it with your taxes on every paycheck. You must have enough work credits earned to receive benefits under this program.

If approved, you will receive healthcare through Medicare. Your benefit payments come from your average earnings.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a need-based program. You must meet certain income restrictions to get benefits under this program. It also comes from taxes but does not require you to pay taxes to receive it.

Once approved, you get healthcare through Medicaid. Your income will determine your benefit amount. You may also receive some benefits from your state.

Similarities of the programs

To get benefits under either program, you must still meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. You must provide medical documentation to prove your current condition and abilities. You also must keep the SSA informed about any work you do or the income your earn while in the program.

SSDI and SSI both come from the Social Security Administration and pay out benefits from taxes. While they are different in how you qualify, you still have to have a disability to receive them.