What's the difference between Social Security SSI and SSDI?


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Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are two of the most popular SSA programs that you will run into as a Veteran. While both programs are designed for senior citizens and those with disabilities, it's important that you know the difference between the two in order to file the right one for your case.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?​

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-based program. It is intended for older adults with very little income or resources.

Eligibility for SSI is based solely on age/disability and limited income and resources.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?​

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for individuals that are disabled in some fashion and have met certain work history requirements.

Veterans eligible to receive SSDI payments will automatically qualify for Medicare coverage after 24 months. However, claimants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) will qualify immediately.

Can you receive both SSI and SSDI?​

Absolutely. If SSDI is the only means of income and it is low, one could qualify for SSI to top it off and achieve a more liveable wage.

Veterans receiving both SSDI and SSI must be aware that they must report any changes to their living arrangements or income.