What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Whether you have recently retired or have a disability that makes it difficult for you to maintain a job, you may qualify for federal assistance to help you make ends meet. While the Social Security Administration offers several programs designed to provide financial assistance to those who qualify, the most common include Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.

Many people in Missouri and in other states across the nation often confuse the two programs. If you wish to apply for benefits, it is critical to understand what the differences are between these two programs.

Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI focuses on helping those who have become disabled or developed a condition that limits their ability to continue working, according to the Social Security Administration. When you work, a portion of your earnings go toward Social Security taxes. The work credits you earn during your years of employment goes towards insurance, which is available should a disability, injury or condition prevent you from working in the future. It also provides protection for certain members of your family.

Understanding Supplemental Security Income

SSI, on the other hand, provides financial assistance to those who have limited resources. This includes elderly, retired citizens, as well as those who are disabled. You can either apply online for services or through the SSA’s office.

Before you can receive any assistance, however, you must qualify for benefits. This includes proving you have a condition or disability that meets the SSA’s definition of such:

  • You are unable to continue your current work due to your condition
  • You are unable to complete another type of position due to your condition
  • The condition lasts or is expected to last for a minimum of one year and/or result in death

Keep in mind that the SSA looks at the circumstances surrounding each case.

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