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social security cardsThe Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability: the Social Security disability insurance program (title II of the Social Security Act (the Act)) and the supplemental security income (SSI) program (Title XVI of the Act).

The distinction between these programs is often a source of confusion because of the many similarities, but there are some major differences. Both programs provide monetary assistance and their eligibility is based on the person being considered's medical need. The help is given to assist those whose physical limitations may prevent them from earning an income the same as someone else.

Title II provides for payment of disability benefits to individuals who are "insured" under the Act by virtue of their contributions to the Social Security trust fund through the Social Security tax on their earnings, as well as to certain disabled dependents of insured individuals. Title XVI provides for SSI payments to individuals (including children under age 18) who are disabled and have limited income and resources.

SSI - Suplemental Security Income

SSI is a monthly payment made by the Social Security Administration to those who qualify. To qualify you must meet the following criteria:
 elderly (age 65 or older) or,
 disabled or,
 blind, and
 You must have low income and resources

Disabled or blind children can also receive SSI.

(for guidelines for disabilities, income and resources visit the definitions page under Understanding Social Security)

SSI is managed by the Social Security Administration however, it is not paid for through Social Security taxes. It is funded by US Treasury general funds..


 SSDI - Social Security Disability Income

SSDI is a monthly benefit for people who have worked in the past and paid Social Security taxes. In order to qualify you have to had worked for a job that is covered by Social Security. One that has withheld social security tax from your monthly pay. Credits are earned yearly based on the amount you earned. The amount of credits needed to qualify varies by age. The standard requirment is 40 credits, 20 of which must be earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.

SSDI provides many different types of benefits:

Disability benefits- monthly payments paid to people who are unable or expected to not be able to work for a year or more because of a disability.

Retirement benefits- monthly payments paid to people who have reached retirement age.

Survivor Benefits-monthly payments paid to your spouse, and children in the event of your death.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits- An adult Disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child's benefits if a parent is deceased or receiving retirement or disability benefits.

 those whose physical limitations may prevent them from earning an income the same as someone else.

If you have worked and paid into Social Security long enough, you also may be eligible for Social Security benefits while you are receiving SSI.


If your application was denied recently for SSI or SSDI then you have the option to appeal. Your appeal must be submitted within 60 days after the date of the letter plus 5 days (date of letter + 5-days + 60-days)

If your application was denied for:

Non-medical reasons: you must contact your local Social Security Office in order to appeal. You can also call

1-800-772-1213, to request an appeal. TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

Medical reasons: you are able to submit an appeal online. You may also contact your local Social Security Office or call 1-800-772-1213, to request an appeal. TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.


                A disability is any physical or mental difference that affects the way you perform life's daily activities.


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