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 (SSI) (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.
|Social Security Disability Insurance||Supplemental Security Income|
|Eligibility||A disabled individual must have paid Social Security taxes and earned enough work credits to become insured for benefits.||A disabled or blind adult or child must meet all of the following categories:|
1. Have limited income;
2. Have limited resources;
3. Be a U.S. citizen or national (or in one of certain categories of aliens); and
4. Live in the United States or Northern Mariana Islands.
|Payment||The monthly disability benefit amount is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.||The monthly payment is based on need and varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate. Some states add money to federal SSI payments.|
|Medical Coverage||The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years.||In most states, beneficiaries are automatically eligible for Medicaid.|
|More Detailed Explanation of the Benefit||Social Security Disability||Supplemental Security Income|