The Difference Between SSDI & SSI

The Social Security Administration administers two programs: (1) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (Title II of the Social Security Act); and (2) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program (Title XVI of the Social Security Act).

For both SSDI and SSI, the Social Security Administration will determine whether you are disabled. This means whether (1) you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (or combination of impairments) (2) that causes such marked or severe limitations that it will (3) either cause death or be expected to last for at least one year.

However, to obtain SSDI benefits, you also must be “insured” under the Act. This means you have contributed enough to your Social Security account through your earnings. If you are applying for SSDI, it does not matter whether you have assets, bank accounts, investments, etc.

Contrastingly, SSI provides disability benefits to individuals who have limited income and resources. For SSI, the Social Security Administration will  consider: (1) money you receive from work; (2) money you receive from other sources, including workers compensation, unemployment benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs, friends or relatives; and (3) free food or shelter. Essentially, the Administration will consider anything you could convert to case and use for food or shelter. The limits for an Individual/Child are $2,000.00, and for a couple are $3,000.00.