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What's the Difference Between SSDI & SSI?

In the United States, we have two large federal programs that provide financial assistance to people with disabilities. These programs are the Social Security Disability program and the Supplemental Security Income program.

These programs are NOT the same, however, they do have something in common – they are both administered by the Social Security Administration.

In order for someone to qualify for either program, they must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a “disability,” and they must meet specific medical criteria in order to receive benefits under either of the programs. Let’s take a closer look at the two programs:

Social Security Disability
The Social Security Disability program is for people who are unable to work because they have a medical condition that’s either expected to last at least one year, or it will result in death.

Federal law has a very strict definition of disability; if the individual can engage in “lighter” or “modified” work activities, then they probably won’t fit the SSA’s definition of disability.

In order for someone to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, they must have worked long enough in jobs that paid into the system (depends on the applicant’s age and work record). If the individual meets the first requirement, then the SSA has to determine that they are “disabled.”

Generally, the SSA pays people disability benefits if they are physically incapable of working for one year or more, or when they have a serious medical condition that will result in death. The individual’s disability must be so serious, that they are not able to work at all, considering the worker’s age, education level and work experience.

Supplemental Security Income
The Supplemental Security Income program is a federal income supplement program that is not funded by Social Security taxes. Instead, the funds come from general tax revenue.

The SSI program helps blind, elderly, and disabled individuals who have very little or no income. The SSI program helps these individuals pay for the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and a place to live.

If you would like to learn more about these two federal programs, we invite you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with a Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyer.