If you’ve been disabled at work, you may be considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, or Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI. Although both programs are monitored, controlled and funded by the Social Security Administration, they are two separate programs and it is important to recognize and understand the distinctions.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a program funded by United States employees who work and pay into Social Security through their taxes, designed to aid workers who become terminally injured or ill, or suffer from an injury or illness expected to last more than one year.
There is an extensive application process that must be followed, and an applicant must determine whether his or her physical or mental illness or injury qualifies, and that the injury or illness prevents them from working and that it will last longer than a year or is expected to ultimately end in death. The benefits are designed to help someone out of work to cover basic necessities. It is not meant to fully replace lost income.
For those who meet certain low income criteria or are legally blind, Supplemental Security Income may provide additional financial aid. Although administered and controlled by the Social Security Administration, SSI funding does not come from Social Security trust funds, but U.S. Treasury general funds.
It is estimated that approximately 11 million Americans receive SSDI benefits and up to 8 million receive SSI benefits. If you suffer from a disabling condition and believe you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you may want to speak with an expert to learn how to best proceed.
Source: findlaw.com, “SSDI & SSI: Definition of ‘Disabled’,” Accessed Sept. 14, 2015