Some people may be confused with the terms Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because both of them provide benefits based on an individual's disability. However, the two terms should not be used interchangeably because they are quite different from each other.

To give people a broader understanding regarding the differences between SSDI and SSI, here are facts that will show the nature of each type of program and the eligibility requirements for it.


SSDI is a program that receives funds from Social Security taxes that are paid by self-employed individuals, employers, and employees. These funds are used to provide benefits to disabled or blind workers, widows, and adults who are suffering from a disability since their childhood, provided that they pass the program's eligibility requirements.

SSDI also pays benefits to family members when their head salary earner suddenly dies or become disabled. It must be noted that Social Security follows a strict definition of "disability." Under it, a person will only be considered as disabled if he is unable to engage in any type of "Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)" because of a medically determinable mental or physical impairment, which can last no sooner than 12 months or can result to his death.

Processing a claim

Processing a person's claim will take from one month to six months, provided that all the proper documentation is given. If Social Security denies a claim and the applicant decides to file an appeal, the time needed to process his claim may take longer than the usual.

Applicants may opt to apply for SSDI through the internet or by contacting the Social Security directly. Additional information and forms that may be required from the applicant include the following:

· Proof of age and Social Security number

· Tests and laboratory results

· Names, contact numbers, and addresses of hospitals, doctors, institutions, and clinics where he received treatments and the dates of such treatments


SSI is a cooperative program that is being implemented by the state government and the Social Security Administration (SSA). An individual's eligibility and the amount of benefits that he can receive will depend on what state he is living in.

It acquires funds from general revenues. Under this program, disability benefits may be given to eligible children or adults who are blind or disabled, have met the imposed living requirements, and have limited resources and low monthly income.

If a person's application for SSI is approved, he can receive cash payments amounting to $637 or above each month. This amount may increase if the state provides additional payment, which is referred to as the "State Supplementary Payment."