It is fairly easy to confuse SSI and SSD benefits. They both come from the Social Security Administration and require meeting specific qualifications.
However, SSI and SSD do have some distinct differences.
Supplemental Security Income is dependent on income. You must have little to no income to qualify for these benefits. You also must be over a certain age, blind or disabled to get SSI.
SSI compared to SSD
SSD does not require that you meet income guidelines. It is available to anyone regardless of earnings. But SSD is only for people who meet the SSA’s definition of disability. The requirements to qualify are quite strict for both programs. And, you may have to get SSD to qualify for SSI if you do not meet age requirements.
The funding for each program is also much different. SSD benefits come from taxes you pay when filing your income taxes each year. SSI comes from general taxes instead of income taxes.
The amount of benefits in the programs is different as well. SSI benefit amounts depend on your financial situation. SSD benefit amounts depend on your past earnings since it is a benefit paid from your past tax payments.
SSI qualification mainly looks at your income, but SSD focuses more on your ability to qualify as disabled under the SSA’s strict definition.
While it is easy to confuse SSD and SSI, they are not the same benefit. You must apply for them separately and meet the individual qualifications for each. In addition, the SSA will make an independent determination for each application.