What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

By April 19, 2021 No Comments

For Americans unable to work due to disabilities, Social Security benefits come in two main forms: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). At first glance, the two programs can seem very similar, but there are key differences, and each program serves a different purpose. Understanding each program’s unique features can help you determine whether one or both programs are right for you.

A Primer on Supplemental Security Income

SSI provides benefits to low-income individuals who are either over age 65, blind, or unable to work due to a medical or mental condition. There are particular rules about what qualifies as a medical condition, as outlined here. To be eligible for SSI, an individual must meet any one of those three criteria and have income and assets below a certain level. These latter requirements are the defining characteristics that distinguish SSI from SSDI. Children may also be entitled to SSI if they meet certain criteria relating to medical or mental impairments.

A Primer on Social Security Disability Insurance

Unlike SSI, SSDI is available to individuals of any age or income level who are unable to work due to a medical condition and have an established recent work history. Unlike SSI, recipients can use SSDI benefits for children or dependents of the principal recipient. Benefits for children or dependents are in addition to the base benefit amount of the principal recipient.

An Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help You Find the Right Program for You

Applying for Social Security benefits is a complicated process, and even just figuring out which program you qualify for can be tricky. Some may qualify for both programs, while others might not qualify for either. A Social Security Disability attorney like those at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. Attorneys at Law will help you understand the available programs and successfully apply to benefits. Call (541) 434-6466 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Eugene Social Security Disability firm with over 40 years of experience in helping people like you.