What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – This program is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons.

  • The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years.
  • To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be “insured” for Social Security purposes.
  • Disability benefits are payable to:  blind or disabled workers, their children, widow(er)s, adults disabled since childhood
  • The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
  • See Understanding the Benefits for a complete explanation SSDI.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – This program is financed through general revenues from taxes, meaning benefits are not based on your prior work history.

  • In most states, beneficiaries will automatically be eligible for Medicaid.
  • SSI benefits are payable to: individuals age 65 or older, adults who are disabled or blind, children who are disabled or blind
  • Eligibility requirements: have limited income and resources meet the living arrangement requirements; a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens.
  • The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the state. See Understanding Supplemental Security Income for a complete explanation of SSI.
  • See Understanding Supplemental Security Income for a complete explanation of SSI.