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I regularly get phone calls and/or emails from potential clients wanting to know the difference between SSDI and SSI – although both are federal programs that provide assistance for those who are disabled, it is important to know the different eligibility requirements.

The SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program is funded by general tax revenues and pays benefits to people with disabilities who have limited income and assets, and is based on a person’s financial need. The SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) program is financed by the Social Security tax. Any person that qualifies as disabled according to the definition provided by Social Security Administration (SSA), and who has paid Social Security taxes long enough to achieve sufficient work credits, can qualify for SSDI.

SSI and SSDI aren’t easily obtained. Applications are commonly rejected due to errors or insufficient information and missed deadlines. If you believe you meet qualifications for either program it is best to speak with a disability attorney regarding the best program fit for you.