Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income: An overview

When you’re suffering from a disability that prevents you from working, there are two types of federal disability programs available: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

Understanding the difference between the two programs can help you better plan your future and work through your claim.

What qualifies you as disabled?

To be considered disabled under Social Security’s rules one must meet the following requirements:

  • Be unable to work your current job due to a documentable condition 
  • Be unable to return to work you’ve previously done
  • Be unable to adjust to other types of work due to a medical condition
  • Have a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least for one year (or is terminal)

The above is a brief overview of the qualification requirements that the federal government views as valid. Many unique circumstances can affect a Social Security claim, and each case is evaluated individually. 

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

SSDI is a federal program for adults who have previously paid into Social Security during their working years. The amount of monthly benefits someone can receive is based upon their lifetime average earnings. 

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

The SSI federal program is designed for disabled adults and children that have limited economic resources. This needs-based program isn’t dependant on your prior earnings. 

Facing life with a disability can be overwhelming. If you’re struggling to get your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim approved, don’t be afraid to reach out for more guidance. 

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