SSDI and SSI are both government programs that are run by the SSA and provide benefits to people who meet the federal definition of a disability. However, SSDI is known as an entitlement program, while SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Income, is a means-tested program.

Means-tested describes certain government benefits and programs that are only available to people whose incomes are considered low enough that government assistance is extremely helpful if not necessary to maintain safe housing and buy groceries.

SSDI vs. SSI: What’s the Difference?

SSDI is generally available to disabled people who have paid into the Social Security system by earning wages and paying taxes, regardless of income level. 

If you qualify for SSDI benefits then you will automatically qualify for Medicare health insurance after two years of receiving disability assistance.

SSI was created to help meet the basic financial needs of elderly, blind, and disabled people whose age or disability status make it difficult to pay for living costs such as food and shelter.

In most states in the country, if you receive SSI benefits you will automatically qualify for Medicaid health insurance which is usually more comprehensive than Medicare.

Another major difference between SSDI and SSI is the number of benefits that are generally given. Usually, SSDI monthly payments are higher amounts than SSI payments.

In 2024, the maximum SSDI monthly benefit was $3,822. The average monthly SSI benefit was $943. 

If you receive any other Social Security benefits then your SSI payments will be reduced.

Now that you have determined whether you want to pursue SSDI or SSI benefits, you should know how to apply for SSDI.

By Admin

Updated on 02/23/2023