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What Is The Difference Between Supplemental Security Income And Social Security Disability Benefits?


Over six percent of your income goes to paying Social Security taxes. In addition to providing retirement benefits, the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs help people who suffer long-term disabilities. Our Orlando Social Security disability lawyer explains the difference between these programs and the requirements to be eligible for benefits.

The Difference Between SSI and SSDI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits that act as a form of insurance in the event of retirement, disability, or the death of a family member. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) both help offset lost income for people who are unable to work due to long-term disabilities. The following highlights the key differences between the programs:

  • In order to qualify for SSI, you must be at least 65 or suffer a long-term disability. You must also have low income and resources.
  • In order to qualify for SSDI, you must have been recently employed, earned enough work credits, and suffer a qualifying condition.
  • As of January 2022, the maximum amount you can collect while on SSI is $841 per person or $1,261 for a couple.
  • As SSDI is based on your prior wages, the maximum amount you can collect is higher. Depending on your prior work history, you may be entitled to up to $3,345 per month. 

Are You Eligible For Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance?

As the maximum amount you can collect while on SSDI is significantly higher than for SSI, most people would prefer to obtain these benefits instead. SSDI also has the added benefit of providing payments to family members in certain situations. However, you must meet prior work requirements in order to be eligible:

  • You must have worked at a job that took out Social Security taxes;
  • You must suffer from a qualifying condition that is expected to prevent you from working for a year or longer;
  • You must have earned enough work credits which, based on your income, may be awarded up to four times per year;
  • Generally, you must have earned at least 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned over the past 10 years.

If you do not meet work credit requirements and have low income and assets, you may be able to collect Supplemental Security Income benefits instead. In some cases, you may be eligible for both.

To Discuss Your Options, Request A Consultation With Our Orlando Social Security Disability Lawyer

Social Security benefits can provide a lifeline if you are unable to work. However, applying for either SSI or SSDI often proves challenging and denials or delays are all too common. To find out if you are eligible and to ensure you get the maximum amount you deserve, reach out to Farrell Disability Law. To discuss the options in your particular case, call or contact us online and request a consultation in our Orlando or Jacksonville office today.




Farrell Disability Law is located in Jacksonville, FL and serves clients throughout Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Orange Park, Doctors Inlet, Neptune Beach, Callahan, Bryceville, Middleburg, Fernandina Beach, Clay County, Duval County and Nassau County.


2319 Oak Street
Jacksonville, Florida
Phone: 904-388-8870 Primary: 904-388-8870 Fax: 904-339-9590


37 North Orange Avenue, Suite 548
Orlando, Florida 32801
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