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Difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability

Many people wonder what the difference is between Social Security disability and SSI disability. Below is an updated chart with detailed links to help you and your constituents/clients further understand these two programs.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This program is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons.

See Understanding the Benefits for a complete explanation SSDI.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

This program is financed through general revenues from taxes, meaning benefits are not based on your prior work history.

See Understanding Supplemental Security Income for a complete explanation of SSI.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Answers to other related Social Security Disability Topics.

Apply for Disability

  1. How do I apply for disability benefits?
  2. What should I do if I think I might be eligible for benefits?
  3. What happens after I apply for disability benefits online?
  4. Do I qualify for benefits if I am now in, or the surviving spouse of, a civil union or other legal same-sex relationship?
  5. Do I qualify for benefits if I live in a place that prohibits or does not recognize same-sex marriages or other legal same-sex relationships?

Eligibility for Disability

  1. What should I do if I think I might be eligible for benefits?
  2. Can I receive Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
  3. What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability?
  4. When will Social Security begin paying benefits to same-sex married couples and surviving spouses?
  5. Can I receive benefits on my deceased ex-spouse’s record?
  6. More…

Info – Disability

  1. How can I change my address?
  2. Do I have to pay income taxes on the benefits I receive?
  3. How do I check the status of my application?
  4. Will my Social Security disability benefits change when I reach full retirement age? 
  5. Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I’m eligible for disability benefits?
  6. More…

Applying While Receiving Income

  1. Can I work and apply for Social Security disability benefits?
  2. How do workers’ compensation or public disability benefit payments affect my Social Security disability payments?
  3. I have a private disability insurance, will it reduce my Social Security disability benefit?

Working While Disabled

  1. Can I work without losing my Social Security disability benefits?
  2. What is the Ticket to Work Program?
  3. If I become eligible for disability can I get vocational rehabilitation?

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