Disability Benefits: SSI vs. SSDI

When you apply for your social security disability benefits, one important thing you should know is that there are two types you may be eligible for– Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplement Security Income.  An important part of the process is knowing what factors makes you eligible for one or both and what factors disqualify you.  Let’s take a look at both.

SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)

This insurance program of the American government is  funded by the federal law. SSDI is handled by the Social Security Administration.  It is designed to help individuals who are not able to find work or support themselves because of their disabilities.

The program can help these individuals until their condition allows them to provide for their own needs. Eligibility to the SSDI program requires a physical or mental condition that limits the person from working or making money. The condition should be around for more than 12 months and the age limit is 65 years old.  Applicants should also have worked before the disability started to prevent them from doing so.

In order to qualify for this program, you need to have at least 40 work credits.  Social security will be able to determine if you do.  They normally look at your work history in the past 10 years.  If you have been working a tax paying job, full-time for at least 5 out of the past 10 years, then you should have enough credits (this varies with jobs, however).

disability council

SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

This program provides assistance to the low income population in the country with disabilities. To determine whether you qualify for SSI, Social Security adds up what is called your “resources” — money in the bank, income,  personal property and various other assets. If these exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, SSI can not be paid. (Generally, the home in which you live and one car aren’t counted.) For information on exactly what things are counted, see Understanding Supplemental Security Income.


Ready to find out if you’re eligible?  Click here.  We’ll let you know within 24 hours (business day).

Find out some best practices while applying for Socialy Security benefits here.