What's the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
The Social Security Administration issues both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security (SSI), two of the largest federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Only individuals with a disability and specific medical criteria can qualify for either program, but there are distinct differences.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that pays individuals if they become disabled, before retirement age, and can no longer work. It is often referred to as “workers’ disability” because many are injured while on the job and require income to compensate for their long-term disability. While there is an income limit on Social Security Disability Insurance, injury settlements and the court awarded money typically do not affect it, unless the award is categorized as lost wages.
Unlike SSDI, Social Security Insurance (SSI), also known as Supplemental Security Income, is a need-based federal program for people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance, Social Security is based on need. If you were to receive compensation from a personal injury lawsuit, the amount of social security you receive would be affected. If you have questions, it is highly recommended you talk with an attorney to discuss options on how to handle a settlement or court-awarded money.