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Differences Between SSI and SSDI

There are a number of government programs available to those less able-bodied than the general population that is offered to help individuals suffering from a disability make ends meet. These programs provide benefits aimed to help lift some of the financial burdens that may have resulted from a disability.

Many have trouble distinguishing between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and, although similar in some ways, the two programs differ distinctly in terms of who is eligible and what requirements are necessary to yield the benefits. Knowing the ins and outs of these programs can help determine whether you are eligible for government benefits that can work as an extra source of income after suffering financially from your disability.

Distinctions in Eligibility

Sometimes, the two programs are referred to interchangeably as both provide cash benefits to the disabled and are administered by the Social Security Administration. However, this assumption that both are the same is incorrect—the main difference between the two is that each program has specific eligibility requirements. This is seen in the following ways:

  • SSI is awarded on the strict basis of financial need. You must have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited monthly income to apply.
  • SSDI is not “need-based” and is only accessible if you have accumulated a certain number of work credits and contributed to FICA Social Security taxes.
  • SSI requires you be either 65 or over, blind, or suffering from a disability.
  • SSDI is for workers under 65 who have become disabled before retirement age.

Additionally, the two programs differ in how they are funded. SSI is funded through general fund taxes while SSDI is paid for through payroll taxes. Understanding how both works can help determine if you are eligible for government benefits.

Consult with a San Antonio Social Security Disability Lawyer

Coping with financial distress because of a disability can be burdensome and disheartening. Although knowing the difference between SSI and SSDI is helpful, the application process of receiving government benefits can become overwhelming. Fortunately, the legal team at Chris Mayo Law Firm can help you assess your case and guide you through the specifics of what benefits you can receive if you have a disability. 

Call our San Antonio offices at (210) 899-5440 to speak with a social security disability attorney and receive help in your case.