Understanding Disability

The Social Security Administration pays benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs are both uniquely designed to provide monthly benefits for people who are unable to work due to a disability.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is reserved for individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes to receive insured status under the Social Security Disability Program. Once found disabled, these benefits are paid to the worker. However, these benefits are not only available to the worker. Disabled children, widowers and widows may be entitled to the benefits of the deceased worker under his or her earnings record if they too are found disabled. Family benefits are also available in some cases.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is reserved for those who do not qualify for SSDI because they do not have enough of an earning record. The standards for qualification, however, are the same as SSDI. Furthermore, there is an asset and income limitation requirement that determines the availability of SSI for an individual.