For many people needing additional income for a debilitating injury, the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may not be immediately apparent.
At the most basic level, SSDI is an earned disability benefit that is determined by the number of years you've worked, and SSI pays benefits to low-income individuals who have never worked or have limited income and assets.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI provides benefits for physical and mental impairments to individuals, and certain members of their family, based on the person's work record and the fact that they have paid into Social Security.
To qualify for this type of disability benefit, you must have a disability that prevents you from working for one year or longer. Benefits can be paid to blind or disabled workers as well as to widows and adults who have been disabled since they were children and were never able to work.
This program was first established in 1960 when Social Security first began paying benefits to disabled workers and their dependents. Then too, the benefits were based on work record and was funded by taxes paid into the program.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI on the other hand, pays benefits to low-income individuals who are 65 or older and adults and children who are disabled or blind. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), these benefits provide cash for basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
Qualifications for SSI are similar to SSDI in that you have to prove that you have a debilitating disability that prevents you from working for a minimum of one year or longer
However, unlike SSDI, this program is funded by the Federal government rather than through tax revenue. It was established in 1974 to replace the complicated state programs that were funded by the federal government.
Help Appealing Your Claim
Disability benefits are an important lifeline for many Americans who cannot work. If you are denied benefits after your initial application, our team of legal professional can guide you through the complex appeals process and get you the help you deserve.