Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of many other government-funded financial assistance programs for those in need. In fact, another is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which many American often get confused with SSDI due to how similarly the programs work to help citizens in need.

However, the key difference between these two financial assistance programs is that SSDI is given out based on your disability status, not financial need. On the other hand, SSI provides funds to individuals and families based on financial need.

What Are the Differences Between SSDI and SSI?
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Here are the qualification requirements for Supplemental Security Income:

  • Be older than 65 years of age OR,
  • Be blind or disabled AND,
  • Be considered low income AND,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualified noncitizen AND,
  • Live in a U.S. state, Washington D.C. or the Northern Mariana Islands AND,
  • Must not be in federal prison or hospital facility at the expense of the U.S. government.

Unlike the SSDI application, the SSI application process involves providing detailed information about your income, assets and resources. The SSA does this to accurately determine whether you and your household have sufficient income. When you apply for SSI, you need to provide proof of all sources of income, including other Social Security benefits payments, unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation payments and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.

The SSA also determines your eligibility for SSI based on your resources, which include:

  • Bank accounts.
  • Stocks.
  • Bonds.
  • Cash.
  • Vehicles.
  • Property.
  • Life insurance.

If your resources are more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a married couple, then you may not qualify for SSI benefits. However, the SSA doesn’t consider your resources at all when determining your eligibility for SSDI.

Another key difference is that you could lose your SSI benefits if the following situations occur:

  • You leave the country for 30 or more days.
  • You give away assets and resources to stay below the SSA’s resource limits.
  • You have an open felony.
  • You have an arrest warrant out on you.
  • You go to jail, prison, detention center, other correctional institution, halfway house or boot camp.

You can actually qualify and receive for both SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time, as long as you continue to meet the requirements of each program. What’s more, the SSA doesn’t consider SSI payments when determining how much you can get in SSDI benefits. But, just because you qualify for SSI doesn’t mean you’d qualify for SSDI. But if you qualify for SSDI, you may also qualify for SSI.

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