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How are SSD and SSDI different?

Navigating the maze that is the US system for entitlements and support can be disorienting enough on its own. However, understanding which set of benefits you are eligible for is an important step of the application process.

If you suffer from a disability, you may wonder if you should apply for SSI or SSDI. According to the National Council on Aging, if you possess a qualifying work history you should likely apply for SSDI.

What is SSI?

SSI is the acronym for Supplemental Security Income. This program is for the elderly and individuals with disabilities, no matter what their age or work history is. Persons eligible for SSI have very little in terms of resources or income. The average benefit payout for a person receiving SSI is $542 a month.

Generally, if an individual receives SSI from the federal government they are also eligible for other state programs to supplement their income.

What is SSDI?

SSDI is the acronym for Social Security Disability Insurance. This program is for an individual who has a disability and also has a work history or has a family member with a qualifying work history. The average payout for a person receiving SSDI is $1,171 a month. Because persons receiving SSDI have a work history, they are eligible for a higher payout.

The main difference between the programs is that SSI addresses disability and age and SSDI addresses disability and work history. In some circumstances it is possible to apply for both programs, if you are an individual with a work history in addition to very few resources.