Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits come in two principal types: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI exists for persons who have worked in their lifetime and paid federal taxes, which went in part to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Such persons can seek SSDI benefits if they become disabled and unable to work before reaching full retirement age of 65 or 66, depending on their year of birth. (The younger you are, the more likely you’ll need to reach 66 to qualify.) At retirement age, such persons are eligible for regular Social Security retirement benefits instead. SSDI benefits also may be known by the names of SSD, which is SSDI in shortened form; or DIB, signifying Disability Insurance Benefits; or Title II benefits, referring to the part of the Social Security Act which concerns disability benefits. But they all amount to the same thing.

Supplemental Security Income

As for SSI, it’s related to SSDI but also different. SSI benefits are set depending on a person’s financial needs. SSI benefits are not dependent on money paid into the SSA via past employment. SSI payments or stipends tend to go to people who have a low income and who are blind, otherwise disabled or older than 65.

SSDI benefits are paid directly by the SSA.

Over eight million Americans get SSDI benefits.

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