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Difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability

Friday, March 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dear Colleague,
Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American, often during times of personal hardship, transition, and uncertainty. Our programs serve as vital financial protection for working men and women, children, the disabled, and the elderly. We administer the largest disability program in the nation.
Many of you have asked what is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability? Below is a brief chart with detailed links to help you and your constituents/clients further understand these two programs.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This program is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons.
  • The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years.
  • To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes.
  • Disability benefits are payable to:
  • The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
See Understanding the Benefits for a complete explanation SSDI.
Social Security offers an online disability application Applying online for disability benefits
This program is financed through general revenues from taxes, meaning benefits are not based on your prior work history.
  • In most states, beneficiaries will automatically be eligible for Medicaid.
  • SSIbenefits are payable to:
  • Eligibility requirements:
  • have limited income and resources meet the living arrangement requirements
  • a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens.
See Understanding Supplemental Security Income for a complete explanation ofSSI.


If you want to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please read:
Disability Planner
The disability planner will help you find out:
Social Security Disability – Frequently Asked Questions

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