Disclaimer: The following information provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or medical advice. All information sourced from www.ssa.gov.
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits based on financial need.
SSDI provides benefits to disabled or blind individuals who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record.