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  • Christopher Le

Difference Between SSI and SSDI


SSI, or supplemental security income, is a welfare program for those who have either never worked in their lives or have not worked 5 out of the last 10 years. To get SSI, you will have to prove that you are either disabled and unable to work for at least the next 12 months. In addition, there are asset requirements. You also cannot have more than $2,000 in liquid assets or $3,000 for couples. SSI does not consider a house or car when determining asset requirements. Also, whether or not you qualify will be based on the income of the entire household, not just your income, so if your spouses income exceeds the SGA limits you will likely not qualify.


SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, are benefits available to those who have worked for approximately 5 full years out of the last 10. This program is an insurance benefit, not welfare. Your net worth and most household income will not disqualify you from receiving these benefits. Even someone who has millions of dollars in assets can qualify for SSDI.

The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSDI is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

It is possible to receive both SSI and SSDI benefits if the person meets the low-income requirements AND have also paid into Social Security. In fact, there are millions of applicants who receive both.

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