What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

Just like with every other government office, all of the acronyms relating to the functions of the Social Security Administration can feel like alphabet soup, and it can be hard to keep straight which programs do what.  That’s part of the reason why Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are often confused, aside from the obvious similarities in their names.   In  If you live in the Baltimore area, heading to the closest Social Security Office in Baltimore is the best way to get answers about the differences between programs, and which programs you qualify for.  But if you just want a quick overview of the differences between SSI and SSDI, we’ve got you covered.

SSI and SSDI Similarities
SSI and SSDI are distinctly different government programs, but there are some similarities between the two.  Both are overseen by the Social Security Administration.  Both programs can help individuals who can’t afford the high cost of modern living due to qualified medical conditions.  But beyond some very surface similarities, there are big differences between the two programs.

SSDI is an Earned, Paid Into Program
SSDI benefits are funded through paycheck contributions through the Social Security Administration, and workers who want to draw from SSDI must have paid into the system.  In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have accrued a physical or mental disability that is serious enough to stop you from working, and that has impaired you before retirement age.  A medical professional must state that your impairment is expected to last at least 12 months, and that you will not be able to work during that time period.  Like Social Security retirement checks, SSDI benefits can be paid to the children, widow, or widower of a qualifying individual.

SSI is Paid to Low Income Individuals Who Can Not Work
Unlike SSDI benefits, which are financed through the Social Security Administration and can only be received by individuals who have paid into the system, SSI benefits are funded by general revenues from the Treasury Department and available to any low income individual with a disability that stops them from working.  Medical qualifications for SSI are similar to SSDI, and an impairment must stop an individual from earning through employment.  Before qualifying for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration will tally up the worth of your assets, usually excluding your home and one car, to determine if your income and net worth are low enough to earn benefits.  If you would like more information about which program you rae more likely to qualify for, visit your Baltimore Social Security office.

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