Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program. It provides cash by way of a monthly benefit to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. It is designed to help aged, blind, disabled people, and those 65 or older who have little or no income and resources. Children and adults with special healthcare needs may also be eligible.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to those “insured,” meaning that they worked long enough – and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. People who cannot work because of certain disabilities or medical conditions must be under age 65 and have a qualifying severe disability as designated by the Social Security Administration. Medical condition must last one full year or more, or result in death.