Explain the difference between SSI and SSDI

Americans with Disabilities are potentially eligible for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) simultaneously.

Both SSI and SSDI have increased this year, as the cost of living adjusted (COLA) increased to 5.9%.

While some may qualify for both - the eligibility requirements are different


While some may qualify for both – the eligibility requirements are differentCredit: Getty

Both programs are run by the Social Security Administration.

It’s important to know the differences between each program before you sign up.

In fact, a survey conducted by Secrets about people with disabilities found that only 42% of readers who subscribe to SSI or SSDI actually get the benefit.

We explain what you need to know including the differences and how much you can get if you qualify for both.


While both SSI and SSDI aim to provide assistance to people with disabilities – the eligibility requirements are different.

To qualify for SSI, individuals cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, while couples can have up to $3,000.

The SSI income limit is more complicated, but it’s generally the same as the maximum benefit per month.

However, different types of payments and income are not counted as “income”, including the first $20 of most income received in a month.

According to SSAgrants, scholarships, loans, monetary gifts, income tax refunds, food stamps, among other things are not counted as income for SSI.

Wages, unemployment benefits, and other SSA benefits count as income for SSI.

For SSDI, the monthly income limit is $1,350 for most claimants — but that is increased to $2,260 if the beneficiary is blind.

According to the SSA, SSDI claimants are entitled to a nine-month trial period where they can test their workability and still be considered void.

During this time, there is no income limit on how much they can earn.

SSI claimants do not receive that trial period.

What are the benefits if you qualify for both?

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements for SSI and SSDI – then you can qualify for both.

In terms of how much you can get, the average SSI benefit is $621 per month this year, up $34 from 2021. This equates to $7,452 per year.

The monthly maximum for SSI is $841 per month for an individual in 2022 or about $10,092 a year.

As far as SSDI goes, the amount you get is a bit more complicated.

The amount of the benefit will depend on your age at disability, your work history (including average earnings), and eligibility period.

However, if your SSDI benefits, in addition to qualifying income, are less than $841 per month – it is said you can get two payments.

For example, if you are receiving an SSDI payment of $500 with no other income, you may be eligible for the $341 SSI benefit.

That, of course, equals a total of $841 – which is the maximum SSI benefit.

For married couples, the maximum SSI benefit is $1,261 in 2022.

In other words, SSDI is counted as income for SSI purposes.

The SSA did not respond to The Sun’s request to confirm this.

If you only qualify for SSDI

If you only qualify for SSDI – you can earn more.

Reportedly, the maximum benefit in 2021 is $3,148.

Based on an additional 5.9%, the maximum benefit will be around $3,333 per month this year.

The SSA previously told The Sun: “There is really no maximum amount for disabled workers that corresponds to the maximum amount for retired workers that we post on our website.

If you believe you are eligible for disability benefits, you can Apply online.

Alternatively, you can also apply by calling 1-800-772-1213, or visiting your local Social Security office.

Check out the full 2022 payment schedule for SSI, Social Security, and SSDI.

Plus, we explain why it’s a good idea to start claiming Social Security at age 70.

Plus, here are six ways you can get SSDI benefits faster.

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Caroline Bleakley

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