What is the Difference between SSI and SSDI?

Our Portland Social Security Disability and SSI lawyer Richard A. Sly is experienced at helping people secure the federal benefits they deserve.

Our Portland Social Security Disability and SSI lawyer Richard A. Sly is experienced at helping people secure the federal benefits they deserve.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are both forms of financial assistance that the federal government makes available to individuals with specific disabilities as long as they meet certain requirements.

However, despite the fact that SSI and SSDI are both types of federal benefits that are paid on a monthly basis and are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), these benefits are different in the following ways:

  • People are only eligible for federal disability benefits if they are considered to be “insured,” meaning that they have paid into the system via Social Security taxes for the required amount of time. In contrast, eligibility for SSI benefits is not contingent on applicants’ work history.
  • While Social Security taxes fund disability benefits, they do NOT fund SSI benefits. Instead, SSI benefits are financed by personal income taxes, business taxes and other funds managed by the U.S. Treasury.
  • While eligibility for SSI requires that applicants have limited income/resources and are disabled, blind and/or at least 65 years old, for federal disability benefits, applicants only need to establish that they have a qualifying long-term disability that prevents them from being able to earn a living.
  • Individuals receiving SSI benefits may also be able to obtain Medicaid to cover the costs of their doctors’ bills, prescription medications and other health care needs (depending on the state in which they reside).
  • Individuals applying for SSI benefits may be able to use the same application to receive food benefits (again, depending on the state in which they reside).

Applying for SSI or Federal Disability Benefits

Regardless of whether you are applying for SSI or federal disability benefits, the application and approval process for both of these forms of financial assistance are very complicated, and making a mistake at any point along the way can cause:

  • A significant delay in the payout of the requested benefits
  • A denial of the application
  • Additional financial hardships on the applicant. 

Given the complexity of the application process, it’s critical that individuals who are applying for SSI or SSDI work with a skilled attorney who:

  • Is knowledgeable when it comes to Social Security laws
  • Is experienced at compiling SSI and SSDI cases and applications
  • Is committed to seeing their case through to a favorable resolution.

Portland Social Security Disability and SSI Lawyer at the Law Firm of Richard A. Sly

If you are considering filing for SSI or SSDI – or if you have already filed for these benefits and your case has been denied, Richard A. Sly is here to aggressively advocate your rights and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.

Richard Sly is an experienced Portland Social Security Disability and SSI lawyer who has been helping his clients obtain the maximum possible benefits for more than 30 years. While he is skilled at building his clients the strongest possible cases so that they have optimal chances of securing benefits the first time they present their case, he also has a proven track record of success when it comes to handling denials or appeals.

To discuss your case for free and get your claim started at no cost, call us toll free at 503-224-0436 or email us using the form on the upper right side of this page. We offer free initial consultations, are conveniently located in downtown Portland near public transportation, and serve clients throughout the states of Washington and Oregon.