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Differences between SSI and SSDI for Chattanooga residents

There are several government-run income assistance programs that help those who are injured or ill. These programs aim to supplement income to those who are unable to earn it themselves. This is often due to a debilitating injury or illness that can take so much from a person and their family. Oftentimes, the financial impact is felt the hardest for all involved.

Two government programs provide income assistance to those who need it in the short and long-term. One program is called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The other is Social Security Disability Income or SSDI. These programs may accomplish similar goals, but there are distinct differences between who they affect and why. The main difference between the two programs is SSDI is available to those who have paid into the program via taxable wages.

SSI, however, is available to those who need it regardless of their taxable income history. The amount to be earned from SSDI benefits is measured by a worker's Social Security earnings record. Therefore, the higher the income, the more benefits the injured can become qualified for. SSI, on the other hand, is determined solely on a person's financial need.

Each program has its own rules and regulations that can allow or prohibit certain people from becoming recipients. It is rare, but not unheard of, for one person to qualify for both programs. Also, many SSI recipients can automatically be enrolled in Medicare due to their financial need.

Source:, "What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?," Accessed April 17, 2017

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