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What is the Difference Between SSI and SSD?

What is the Difference Between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability?

Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability are two government assistance programs that provide a financial safety net for Americans who are unable to work due to disability. To qualify for SSI or SSD, you must have a severe disability that renders you unable to work for at least one year, and you must be able to prove this to receive benefits. The Social Security Administration evaluates applicants’ severity of disability in order to issue benefits.

Although both of these initiatives have a similar end goal, they have different requirements (aside from the base requirement of disability), sources of funding, and benefits that separate SSI and SSD into two independent realms.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income exists to support people in need who do not qualify for Social Security Disability, either because they do not work or have not worked enough to receive SSD benefits. SSI is a program for low-income people, based on financial need only, regardless of their contributions through work. The financial need of SSI applicants is determined through the evaluation of their work history, income, and assets.

Social Security Disability (SSD)

Social Security Disability has slightly stricter qualifications than SSI. In order to receive SSD benefits, you must have work experience and a qualifying number of work credits (which are earned according to income). Payroll taxes contribute to SSD funding, so it is issued only to people who have supported the system through work.

Recipients of SSD can also receive benefits for their family members. Children and spouses must meet the SSD requirements of falling between the ages of 18 and 65.

Dedicated Social Security Disability Attorneys Serving Clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland

At Rubin & Badame, Attorneys at Law, P.C., we represent clients who receive or are in need of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. We are your advocate in Social Security representation and are available to answer your questions — contact us today!

Call (610) 595-4917 or submit a message online to speak with our Pennsylvania Social Security Disability lawyers. We serve multiple states in the greater Philadelphia area.