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What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) are two separate benefits programs administered by the Social Security Administration.  SSDI was created in 1956 to provide medical and economic benefits to disabled workers, children disabled prior to age 18, and the children of a retired or deceased insured employee.  It is authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act.  The amount you receive is the amount you would get if you retired today.  You can find out how much that amount is by creating an account on

SSI was created in the 1970's to provide medical and economic benefits to those individuals to who do not have sufficient quarters of income in the past ten years to qualify for SSDI.  It is authorized under Title XVI of the Act.  Because SSI is a needs based program there are limits on the amount of resources a person can have while receiving SSI.  An SSI recipient cannot have more than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a married household, one car, and one house.  The maximum monthly benefit for 2023 is $914 as an individual or $1,371 for couples.  You can find out more here.


Because SSI is a resource based program the federal government will continue to monitor your bank accounts and resources.  That does not happen to 

The medical qualifications for both programs are the same.  Both programs provide medical and economic benefits.  Under SSDI you can earn up to $1,470 before taxes (in 2023) per month before it impacts your benefits.  Under SSI your benefits will be reduced by $.50 for every dollar you earn after the first $20.


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