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Social Security Disability: SSI versus SSDI

Social Security Disability benefits are known by many different names, but many do not know that there are significant differences between the types of Social Security Disability benefits available.  The two main types of disability benefits received from the Social Security Administration are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) -  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues.  It is intended to help aged, blind and disabled individuals who have little to no income.  Individuals with resources or income above a certain level do not qualify for SSI.  SSI is sometimes referred to as “Title 16” benefits, because they were created by Title 16 of the Social Security Act.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – SSDI (also known as DIB) pays benefits to individuals that meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled.”  To qualify for SSDI, you must be “disabled” and have worked and paid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes for a set amount of time depending on your age.  SSDI is funded by Social Security taxes.  There is no resource or income limit for SSDI recipients.  SSDI is sometimes referred to as “Title 2” benefits, because they were created by Title 2 of the Social Security Act.

Also created by Title 2 are Disabled Widow’s Benefits and Disabled Adult Child Benefits.  These are also considered to be categorized as SSDI.