Older couple looking at paperwork

If you have a disability, then you are probably interested in programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but which program is right for you and how does SSDI differ from SSI? At American Disability Action Group, we are here to explain all that. We can help you navigate both programs and learn which you should be applying for given your situation.

How are SSI and SSDI Similar?

Both SSDI and SSI are similar in that they are designed to help people with disabilities have enough money to survive. Both programs offer monthly benefits to disabled individuals that qualify and both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration. The key differences are in who qualifies and who doesn’t.

How Much Could SSDI Increase in 2024?

Can You Apply for SSI or SSDI if you have never worked?

This is one of the big differences between the two programs. SSDI is actually based on your work history. This means that you can only apply for it if you have had a job in the past and paid into Social Security. SSI, on the other hand, is designed for people that fall through the cracks, despite all other programs, still do not make enough to survive. This means that even if you have never had a job, you could be eligible for SSI benefits.

Elderly person clutching a cane

Which Provides More Money, SSI or SSDI?

Neither SSI nor SSDI operate on set amounts and their payout will vary based on the individual and the program. With that said, typically SSDI will provide more in benefits than SSI. In 2023, the average SSI payment for those over 65 was $553.94. Currently, the maximum benefit for an individual is $917 and the max for couples is $1,371.

On the other side of that, for SSDI the maximum benefit is set at $3,627 a month for 2023 and the average payout is less than half that at $1,358 per month. SSDI is based solely on your previous income just like Social Security retirement benefits whereas SSI is based on your needs.

If You Qualify for SSDI do You Qualify for SSI?

The answer to this is yes and no. Medically speaking, if you qualify for one then you do qualify for the other. Both programs follow the same medical guidelines overall. The key differences are in the portions of each program that set them apart from one another. If you make too much money or have too much in assets, you will not qualify for SSI and if you have never worked, you will not qualify for SSDI.

With that said, there are a fair amount of people that get both SSDI and SSI. If you are in a position where both would apply to you, then you should take advantage of both programs. This is especially true if your benefits on SSDI are low due to your work history.

Read More: 3 Things Veterans Need to Know About SSDI Benefits

Seek Legal Help With Your SSI or SSDI

If you are in need of legal help for your SSI or SSDI benefits, then the American Disability Action Group is here to help. At ADA Group, we have the lawyers and the expertise that you need when you have been denied the benefits that you deserve. If you think you are in need of legal help with either SSDI, SSI, or even VA benefits, then do not hesitate to reach out to us for a case review

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.