Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are separate programs that share the same purpose: they are both intended to help people who are unable to work or support themselves due to a disability.
Both programs, SSDI and SSI, are run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and are similar in other respects as well. The claims process is the same. The appeals process is the same. The basic age requirements and having a disability that will prevent you from doing any work for at least one year are the same as well.
NYC Disability Attorneys for Workplace Injuries
SSDI is an insurance-based program funded by the Social Security taxes withheld from payroll checks. To be entitled to receive SSDI benefits, you must have worked for a sufficient numbers of years and paid Social Security taxes. You also need to have been disabled within five years of the date you stopped working in most cases. The more you have worked, earned and paid into the system, the more compensation you will be eligible to receive if disabled.
SSI is a need-based program intended to help those who would not otherwise qualify for SSDI or whose SSDI payments would be very low. People who have not earned enough work credits, those who have never worked, those who became disabled before they could work, and children with disabilities may be eligible to receive SSI benefits as long as their assets and income do not exceed certain limits.