SSDI vs SSI Application

What is the difference between SSDI and SSI Application?

Many people don’t know the difference between SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), but they are two completely different governmental programs with very different sets of requirements.

Put simply SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits. SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD – or whose SSD benefit is very low..

While both are managed by the Social Security Administration, and medical eligibility is determined in the same way (are you disabled under the Social Security rules), there are distinct differences between the two.

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is strictly needs-based and is based on the claimants income and assets. It’s also funded by general fund taxes rather from the Social Security trust fund. Essentially it’s a “means-tested program,” meaning it has nothing to do with work history, but more to do with financial need.

To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for a couple) and your income must be limited. Most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for food stamps and Medical Assistance/Medicaid.

The amount an eligible person receives is partially dependent on where they live.  It also depends on your monthly income, including in some cases the income of another person in your household (such as a spouse)..

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) allows workers who become disabled to receive the equivalent of their Social Security retirement benefits early. In order for you to apply for SSDI, you need to have enough work credits based on taxable employment to be covered for Social Security purposes.

Unlike SSI, because SSDI is based on FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, you have paid throughout your working career, how much money you have or do not have is not taken into account.

The amount of your benefit will be determined by SSA and is dependent upon how much you and your employer(s) have paid into FICA.