Understanding the difference between SSI and SSDI

When Ohio residents have disabilities that keep them from making a living, they may apply for benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Many people in these circumstances consider applying for either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance.

Per the National Council on Aging, many people confuse SSI and SSDI benefits or use the two terms interchangeably. However, some important differences exist between the two types of benefits. Understanding what these differences are may help applicants determine if they need to apply for SSI, SSDI or both.

SSI benefits

Reserved for individuals with serious disabilities or adults who reach a certain age and have limited incomes, SSI benefits come once a month on the first of the month. There are specific eligibility requirements associated with collecting SSI benefits.

SSDI benefits

Individuals who are unable to earn a living due to serious disabilities may use SSDI benefits to get by. To potentially receive approval for SSDI benefits, applicants must have enough of a work history in a position covered by Social Security.

Key differences

Arguably the biggest difference between SSI and SSDI is how applicants qualify for each. Income, age and disability help determine whether someone is eligible for SSI. Disability status and work credits determine whether someone is eligible for SSDI.

In some instances, applicants may be able to obtain SSI and SSDI benefits at the same time. Applicants should note that there may be other differences between the two benefits types,. Some of these differences include whether applicants automatically qualify for health insurance, how much recipients receive each month and when they start receiving benefits after approval.