Being injured at your job may leave you wondering whether you qualify for benefits. When you live with a disability, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI.) The two programs both offer benefits yet have a few key differences.

Similarities between SSDI and SSI

The National Council on Aging states both SSDI and SSI are programs providing financial assistance to those with disabilities through the Social Security Administration. Both of these programs help those with limited resources and income. You can apply for both online, but SSI requires applicants to be over the age of 18.

The definition of disability is strict for both SSDI and SSI. Both programs require medical paperwork that supports your inability to perform work. Neither program is suitable for those with a partial or short-term disability.

Both SSDI and SSI have average monthly benefits and maximum monthly benefits that can affect how much you receive.

You can expect your application for SSDI or SSI to take about 3-5 months to process.

Differences between the two programs

While both SSDI and SSI help those with disabilities, SSI applicants must meet income restrictions to qualify. SSI is not only for those with disabilities but also for the elderly with income struggles.

SSDI will take six months to pay the first payment while SSI goes into effect the first month of eligibility. SSDI qualifies you to receive Medicare after 24 months while you automatically qualify for Medicaid as soon as SSI starts.