What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI in Social Security Disability?

Difference Between SSI and SSDI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two programs that provide benefits based on disability or blindness, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) (Title II) (Title 2)

SSDI provides benefits to disabled or blind individuals who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents). In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have earned enough credits by paying your Social Security taxes as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SS) (Title XVI) (Title 16)

The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled individuals (including children) who have limited income and resources. There is no work history requirement. The Federal Government funds SSI from general tax revenues. Many states pay a supplemental benefit to individuals in addition to their Federal benefits. Some of these states have made arrangements with Social Security to combine their supplemental payment with Social Security’s Federal SSI payment into one monthly check to you. Other states manage their own programs and make their payments separately. Title XVI of the Social Security Act authorizes SSI benefits.

Posted in: Social Security Disability and SSI, SSDI, SSI, Top 10 SSA FAQ

Posted by Nick A. Ortiz, Esq.


Mr. Ortiz founded The Ortiz Law Firm in June 2012. His practice is limited to representing the injured and disabled. Mr. Ortiz is a Board Certified Social Security Disability Attorney and handles SSDI and SSI initial applications an appeals. He handles Long Term Disability (LTD), Short Term Disability (STD), Individual Disability Insurance, and ERISA Disability claims. He also represents individuals who have suffered serious injuries in accidents. He offers free consultations, so call 850-308-7833 to see if he can be of any assistance in your claim.