What to Expect:

There are two types of disability benefits. The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) and the second is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The two programs are the largest of several federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Both are administered by the Social Security Administration. ONLY people who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

To receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, an applicant must:

  • Have a medical condition that prevents them from working and that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
  • Have paid into the program, by working enough quarters of coverage to become “insured.” These credits are earned via working and paying the Social Security taxes deducted from paychecks.
  • Have have been employed for 5 of the past 10 years, generally. Those of younger ages have different requirements. Read more…

The Supplemental Security Income program is an income-based program for those who are disabled AND have few resources. The SSI program, a federal income supplementation program, is funded by general tax revenues, NOT by Social Security taxes.
It is designed:

  • To help aged, blind and disabled people who have little or no income and
  • To provide cash to meet basic needs for food, shelter and clothing.