Despite the similar acronyms, SSI and SSDI are quite different, according to AARP.org.
Dating back to 1960, SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. It’s an earned benefit that focuses on physical or mental impairments that are severe enough to prevent people from working. Like Social Security retirement benefits, it can be paid to disabled workers’ children and their widows or widowers.
SSI began operating in 1974, and it stands for Supplemental Security Income. It pays benefits for low income people who are 65 or older; to adults who are disabled or blind; and to children who are disabled or blind. SSI is only for people who have very limited income and assets.
The two programs are funded differently. SSDI is financed by the Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed people. On the other hand, SSI originated as welfare and is financed by general revenues that the Treasury Department collects to run the U.S. government.
SSI looks at your income, your money in the bank, and personal property to determine whether you qualify for benefits. If these assets exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, SSI can’t be paid. The home in which you live and one car aren’t counted as assets.
If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income, contact the SSD lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.