Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both programs designed to provide financial support to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. However, there are several key differences between the two programs:

  1. Eligibility: SSDI is designed for individuals who have worked and paid into the Social Security system, while SSI is designed for individuals who have low income and limited assets. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked and earned sufficient credits, while eligibility for SSI is based on income and assets.
  2. Benefit Amount: The amount of benefits you receive from SSDI or SSI will depend on your average earnings and the amount you have paid into the Social Security system. In general, SSDI benefits are higher than SSI benefits because they are based on your lifetime earnings.
  3. Work Incentives: SSDI has work incentives built into the program that allow beneficiaries to try working without losing their benefits. SSI also has work incentives, but they are less generous.
  4. Medical Eligibility: Both SSDI and SSI require a demonstration of a medical disability, but the criteria for medical eligibility are different for each program. The criteria for medical eligibility for SSDI are more strict and require a demonstration of a long-term disability, while the criteria for SSI are less strict and consider both the severity of the disability and the individual’s ability to work.
  5. Funding: SSDI is funded by payroll taxes, while SSI is funded by general tax revenues.

In general, SSDI is designed for individuals who have a strong work history and have paid into the Social Security system, while SSI is designed for individuals with low income and limited assets who are unable to work due to a disability.

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