SSDI or SSI – What Are The Differences?

difference between SSDI and SSI
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While they may have similar acronyms, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two different programs that help Americans experiencing financial hardship. At we have compiled a guide to help you understand their key differences and apply for the right one for your needs.

How Does the Social Security Administration Define a Disability?

You must meet the following SSA requirements for disability:

  • You are no longer able to work in your previous occupation
    • You cannot adjust to another career because of your medical condition(s)
    • Your medical condition(s) will last for a minimum of 1 year

There is a rigorous application process for all types of government-based benefits. When you work with, there are no upfront costs to apply, and we will never charge you retainers, documents or medical record fees. We genuinely want to simplify your practice and ensure that you’re successful at getting the benefits you need.

Understanding the Two Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) allows workers who become disabled to receive benefits even if they have not yet reached retirement age. If you want to apply for SSDI, you must have enough work credits from taxable employment to be covered.

Because SSDI depends on the FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes you paid throughout your working career, it disregards how much money you have or do not have.

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides income and resources to disabled, blind, or otherwise low-income or resourced adults and children. When you file an SSI disability claim, make sure you are able to demonstrate to the case reviewer that you have a low income and few financial resources.

What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) differs from Supplemental Security Income (SS) in that SSDI is determined by your work credits obtained as a result of your age, whereas SSI is determined by your income. You must have a specific number of work credits based on your age to qualify for SSDI benefits. In order to qualify for SSI, you must make less than the income limits set by the Social Security Administration.

Individuals receiving SSI benefits will automatically qualify for Medicaid, while individuals receiving SSDI benefits will automatically qualify for Medicare after receiving SSDI benefits for two years.

How Can Help

Around 60% of people who apply for Social Security Disability struggle with the process and get denied if small mistakes on the paperwork are filed or missed a deadline.

At, our team understands the challenges faced by American citizens seeking federal assistance and disability benefits. Our goal is to ensure that you are aware of your options and receive the benefits you deserve as soon as possible. For more information and to get started, use this one-minute form to help see if you qualify, and reach out to us at

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