While both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income provide financial support to individuals with disabilities, they differ significantly in terms of eligibility requirements, funding sources, and payment amounts.
SSDI primarily caters to individuals who have a work history and have contributed to the Social Security system through payroll taxes. To qualify for SSDI benefits, applicants must have a disability that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity and meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. The benefit amount is based on the claimant’s past earnings and work credits. Dependents of the disabled individual may also be eligible for auxiliary benefits.
On the other hand, SSI is designed to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals who have limited income and resources, regardless of their work history. SSI benefits are means-tested, and eligibility depends on income, assets, and living situation. The payment amounts are determined by federal guidelines and may vary based on state supplements.
In addition, SSDI recipients are eligible for Medicare coverage after a waiting period, while SSI recipients are usually eligible for Medicaid, which often does not provide as much coverage as Medicare.
Understanding the differences between SSDI and SSI is crucial for individuals seeking financial support due to disabilities. While both programs offer assistance, the eligibility criteria, benefit calculations, and additional coverage can vary significantly. If you or someone you know is considering applying for these benefits, it is advisable to consult with an experienced disability attorney before filing an application.