- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a disability insurance program financed by Social Security taxes. To qualify for SSDI, the worker must earn a certain level of credits based on taxable work. SSDI disability benefits are payable to disabled workers, widows, widowers, and adults disabled since childhood if they are otherwise eligible.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based government assistance program. SSI makes monthly payments to people who are blind, disabled or age 65 or older who have low income and limited resources, meet certain living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible. Disabled or blind children and those who have never worked or whose work history has not earned them enough credits to qualify for SSDI may receive consideration for disability benefits under the SSI program. The Social Security Administration manages the SSI program, but SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes. SSI is paid for by U.S. Treasury general funds.
For more information, see blog posting: SSI vs SSDI