SSDI and SSI are both federal benefits that are available to people who are disabled and cannot work, and both rely on the same federal standard of disability.
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, and it functions like an insurance plan for workers. It falls under Title II of the Social Security Act. These benefits are available to individuals who have paid Social Security taxes over a sufficiently long period, and the benefits amount is based on the worker’s earnings record. These benefits are available regardless of the person’s income or assets.
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and is a federal welfare program for the elderly, blind, and disabled. It falls under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. Unlike SSDI, these benefits are paid out of general revenues, not the Social Security trust fund. The benefit amount for SSI is set by Congress, and states may add a supplemental amount. Unlike SSDI, SSI is “needs-based.” To be eligible for SSI, an individual must meet the income and assets requirements of the program.
It is possible for an individual to receive both SSDI and SSI benefits if the SSDI benefits are low enough that the person is still eligible for SSI.
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