When just given the name, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance sound very similar, especially when they’re referred to by their abbreviations: SSI and SSDI. However, they are very different, and have very different requirements for who can qualify.
SSI refers to Supplemental Security Income. SSI is designed to support those in financial need. Whether or not you qualify has nothing to do with your work history. The only thing that’s taken into consideration is your income and financial situation. In order to receive SSI benefits, you must have less than $2,000 in assets. If you are married, you must have less than $3,000. Unlike SSDI, SSI is funded by general taxes rather than the Social Security trust fund.
On the other hand, Social Security Disability has to do with your employment status. Because funds are drawn from payroll taxes, your eligibility has to do with how long you’ve been employed and paying into Social Security. In order to receive these benefits, you must be younger than 65. You must also have earned a certain number of work credits. These work credits are determined by your annual income.
If you qualify for either SSI or SSDI, be sure to contact an experienced attorney. We can help guide you through the process of applying for these benefits and make sure that you doing what best fits your situation.