What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?


The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are benefits programs designed for those who cannot provide for themselves. SSDI and SSI provide financial help for older or disable individuals who, for reasons out of their control, are unable to work. However, the requirements needed to apply for these two programs are very different.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) 

Social Security Disability Insurance is supplied to citizens in need through payroll taxes. The eligible individuals for this kind of help have worked for many years and have made contributions to Social Security over the years. 

Those who can apply for SSDI are individuals younger than 65 who have worked in the past, earning work credits. If these individuals have been paying FICA Social Security taxes, they are considered “insured,” and they can benefit from this type of help.

These benefits become available to the claimant only five months after the disability has been declared, and the amount of money one can receive per month depends on income and possessions.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income is a different program created by the government that supplies help to certain low-income citizens that can’t work because of disability, old age, or other reasons out of their control. Moreover, the SSI program has nothing to do with your work history, and it is granted only due to present financial and personal conditions. 

Unlike the SSDI program, SSI is aimed at those who are in need of help because their possessions and incomes are minimal. For someone to receive this sort of payment, the SSA will examine all possessions, properties, and income to check whether this is below $2,000 in value for each individual. 

The amount you can receive depends on how much your possessions are valued at, with a maximum of $783 per individual and $1,175 for a married couple.

The Difference Between SSDI and SSI

The main difference between the SSDI and the SSI programs is who is eligible, based on work history.

SSDI is dedicated to workers that are no longer able to provide for themselves because of disability. These workers must have been paying contributions and be younger than 65. In contrast, SSI supplies help to low-income people who cannot work. 

Disability is also defined differently in each program, so you will need to check each program’s specific eligibility requirements before applying.

How Can a Social Security Lawyer Help?

When it comes down to applying for an SSDI or SSI help, leveraging a social security lawyer’s services can help you speed up the process and achieve the results you wanted much faster. 

Indeed, in the case of SSI, the majority of the applications are initially denied, and the process of appealing can take over a year! Instead, with an attorney’s help on your side, you will be ready to supply all the evidence needed to win your benefits the first time around!