What is the difference between SSDI and SSI benefits?

The key difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits concerns work requirements.

  • SSDI benefits are based on your work history. You must have earned a sufficient number of “work credits.” These credits show that you have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for this type of benefit.
  • SSI benefits are not based on your work history. Instead, they are based on financial need. Generally speaking, to qualify for SSI benefits, you must have less than $2,000 in assets and resources ($3,000 if married).

People who fail to qualify for SSDI benefits because they lack required work credits may be eligible for SSI benefits. An experienced disability benefits lawyer can review your circumstances and determine which option(s) you should pursue.