What’s the Difference Between SSD and SSI?

Those suffering from long-term disability may seek assistance from two distinct federally funded programs: Supplemental Security Income, more commonly referred to as SSI, and Social Security Disability Insurance, known as SSD or SSDI.

While both programs are designed to provide basic living expenses to those who are unable to work, the criteria and benefits associated with the two programs are very different.

What is SSD?

SSD is a form of insurance, not a welfare program. All employees make forced contributions to a national SSD fund every pay period pursuant to the payroll tax. These deductions are paid to qualifying workers suffering from disabilities.

A disabled worker’s income is irrelevant—even wealthy people suffering from disabilities can receive SSD. The Social Security Administration determines an applicant’s eligibility for SSD by assessing the applicant’s work history.

If the applicant has spent a sufficient amount of time in the workforce but is currently unable to work due to a permanent disability, the Social Security Administration will award SSD payments.


Those who are disabled but have not spent sufficient time in the workforce to qualify for SSD may qualify for SSI payments. Unlike the SSD program, only individuals who could not otherwise provide for themselves are eligible for SSI.

The income threshold is strictly monitored—if the annual income earned by the individual receiving the payments rises above the threshold, the individual’s benefits will be rescinded. To qualify for SSI, the applicant must either be a senior citizen or suffer from a permanent disability.

Florida Social Security Disability Attorney

If you’re disabled and you can’t work anymore, contact social security disability law firm at Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. by visit sternberglawbd.wpengine.com or call at 561-687-5660 to get maximum SSD benefits. Our West Palm Beach, Boca Raton & Orlando offices serving all of Florida.

Last Updated: 28 May, 2012

Category: SSD Cases



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