Social Security Disability Insurance Vs. Supplemental Security Insurance

The biggest difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is the financial requirements for those that are disabled. It is hard for many to understand the difference between the two programs, but we have described both programs in detail below.


Requirements and Explanation of SSDI

Most of the funding for Social Security Disability comes from federal taxes. This means that SSDI is deducted from every paycheck and you will not see it until you need it. Depending on the number of years that you work, your contributions to what is known as, the trust fund, varies from person to person. Workers must have enough funding to collect. You must also be under the age of 65.


If a person is receiving SSDI Benefits for more than two years and is still unable to work, they will find out that they are eligible to receive Medicare. The dependents of someone receiving SSDI benefits may be able to receive “auxiliary” benefits. This is only available for a child or spouse of the SSDI receiver. You also must be at least 18 years of age to receive SSDI Benefits.


Under the current rules, your SSDI claim can only be remunerated after five continuous months of disability. The SSDI benefits will then, from there, start at the sixth month from the date that the injury occurred. During that five-month period, the person cannot receive any SSDI benefits.


 SSDI at a Glance

  • You are eligible and entitled to SSDI only if you earned 20 or more “Quarters of Coverage” (QCs) in the last ten years. They must be fully insured.
  • The mental or physical disability must last for a minimum of twelve months, or in the worst case, death.
  • SSDI monthly payments are based on your previous earnings history. The higher your salary was, the more you will receive each month.
  • If the claimant has a disability that is found on the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance list, their claim may be processed more quickly. A claimant also can appeal the decision that they were given.


SSI Requirements and Explanation

Those that live with limited income and resources may be eligible for Supplemental Security Insurance. Under this Government run program, funds come from taxpayers and are solely need to be based. Your assets and revenues must meet a certain criterion that is compatible with the guidelines of SSI to receive it.


Some of the requirement for someone who is disabled or blind to receive SSI are:

  • Have limited resources and income
  • Be a U.S. citizen or Legal Alien
  • Reside in the United States
  • Suffer from blindness or a disability that does not allow you to work


If you meet any of the guidelines that are listed above, then your benefits are based on federal benefit rates. It can take several days to months to receive SSI benefits, but if you are eligible, then your benefits will become retroactive back to your first application. It is important to apply early so that you do not miss out benefits that you deserve.


SSI at a Glance

  • Money that is generated from general taxes funds SSI.
  • SSI benefits are not dependent on a person’s prior work history. Therefore, claimants that did not earn enough to receive SSDI benefits receive SSI.
  • SSI benefits are available to adults that are disabled, individuals that are 65 or older, and children that are disabled or blind.


The main difference that revolves around SSDI and SSI is eligibility. SSDI is available to people that have paid into the system through their income. SSI is a safety net for those who are not eligible for SSDI and receive little income.  In other words, SSDI is available for people that have worked before but now cannot, and SSI is for people with low-income and need help when they are disabled.


The experienced attorneys at Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo help clients throughout Pennsylvania obtain necessary documentation, working in collaboration with their doctors and employers to ensure all application requirements are completed as fully as possible. We can guide you through the process of how to apply for Social Security Disability benefits with the best opportunity for success. Contact our dedicated legal team today at (877)-299-0779 to receive a free case evaluation.

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