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When an incapacitating injury or illness strikes, it may leave you unable to work for an extended period. This may lead to an array of challenges, including an impaired ability to earn and provide for yourself and your family. Depending on your condition and circumstances should you find yourself in such a position, however, you may qualify for benefits through one of the Social Security Administration’s entitlement programs – Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. 

Understanding the difference between the SSA’s benefit programs may help people identify which they may qualify for and to receive the assistance they need and deserve. 

Social Security Disability Insurance

According to Social Security, you may qualify for SSDI benefit eligibility based on your disability and work history. The Social Security taxes you pay when working get collected and placed into a trust. These funds, and those contributed by your employer, finance your benefits should you require SSDI assistance. While you must have the necessary number of work credits in order to receive SSDI, your resources and income other than work wages do not affect your eligibility. 

Supplemental Security Income

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for the SSI program. A needs-based program, you do not need a certain number of work credits to receive SSI benefits. General tax revenues fund this program, and state and federal laws dictate the benefit amounts and formulas used to determine them. These formulas typically take into account various factors, including your assets, any earnings or other benefits you receive, where you live and whom you live with.