Facebook Icon Twitter Icon YouTube Icon Instagram Icon LinkedIn Icon

SSD and SSI: What’s the Difference?

Couple with paperwork

The Social Security Administration offers multiple assistance programs to those with disabilities. However, obtaining approval for these programs can be a difficult and daunting task.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that two of the main programs, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income, are similarly named. Daggett Shuler Law breaks down the differences between the types of benefits and qualifying conditions for these programs.

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a benefit that disabled workers can earn based in part on his or her work history.

In order to qualify for SSD, one must be diagnosed with an illness or disabling condition that is expected to either last at least one year or is expected to result in death.

In addition, applicants must have earned a sufficient amount of work credits to be eligible. Workers generally earn up to 4 work credits in a year. There are also income limits to consider. You cannot earn more than $1,260 a month in order to qualify.

It is important to note that if you are awarded SSD benefits, your spouses and children may also be entitled to benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program that provides benefits to children and adults who are disabled and blind. SSI is also available to low-income individuals aged 65 or older. Yet, this program is available for those with limited assets and income, who do not have a sufficient work history, and are thus not eligible for SSD.

In 2020, you cannot earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity amount ($783/ month) to be eligible for SSI benefits.

In terms of resources, The Social Security Administration takes into account bank accounts, investments, life insurance and vehicles. These resources cannot exceed $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples in order to be eligible.

How Are the Programs Funded?

There are also differences in how the SSD and SSI programs are funded. SSD is funded by the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, through Federal Income Contributions Act taxes that workers pay through payroll tax throughout their careers. However, general revenues collected by the U.S.  Treasury Department finance the SSI program.

How Much Will I Receive in Benefits?

For SSD benefits, the amount you receive is based on a calculation that takes into account your earnings and work history. The maximum monthly benefit for 2020 is $1,260 a month for non-blind individuals and $2,110 for blind individuals. For those receiving SSI benefits, the maximum benefit is $783 for individuals.

An Experienced SSD Lawyer Can Guide You Through Every Step of The Process

Unfortunately, applying for both SSD and SSI benefits can prove to be a long, overwhelming and confusing process. That is why it is critical to turn to an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help you win the benefits you deserve.

We Can Help.

If you need assistance obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, contact Daggett Shuler Law for help. An experienced disability attorney can handle all of the paperwork and details necessary to work to secure the disability benefits you may deserve.

If you have questions about disability benefits, or if your claim has been denied, call Daggett Shuler at 336-724-1234. When you call, you will speak with a Social Security Disability Attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to secure the benefits you may deserve. 

Daggett Shuler Law – You Can Depend on Us.


I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston