Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance providers please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income while SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. The difference between the two programs is described in the article that follows.

Enter your zip code to compare private insurance rates for disability coverage now!

SSI is a federal government income supplement program. It is made possible with general tax revenue from the U.S. Treasury. SSDI is based on the social security taxes you pay through out your employment.

What is SSI?

The main intent of SSI is to help people who are retirement age, severely disabled, and who are in a low-income bracket. The program was actually the product of Nixon’s administration, as the president attempted to improve the U.S.’s welfare program. This attempt at federalizing the law was in order to counteract state laws, which had widely different disability standards and incomes.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are the qualifications for SSI assistance?

For starters, individuals must be:

  • 65 or over, disabled or blind
  • Living in a U.S. territory
  • Meet certain income and resource restrictions

This program has similar characteristics to the Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits program. The decision to approve an individual for coverage is made by the Disability Determination Services.

What is SSDI?

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is a federal program that is actually managed by the Social Security Administration. This program helps people who are not able to work due to a temporary or long-term disability. Ideally, income is provided until the person’s disability heals. However, if the person’s disability is permanent it does continue until retirement age.

What do you need in order to get SSDI?

There is a long waiting process involved with Social Security. You must first prove that you are actually disabled. The waiting process for SSDI can be several months. Some consumers even have to use retirement income to fund their waiting period.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How is SSDI program different from the SSI program?

The latter is needs-based program, mainly set up to help disabled people with low income or in a poverty state. The good news is that individuals who apply for regular SSDI can also apply for SSI. In fact, in some cases, this is a requirement.

Free Insurance Providers Comparison

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I qualify for SSDI?

The person must not only prove a disability, but must also prove that the condition does not allow for “substantial gainful activity.” Other qualifying factors include that the person is under retirement age and that he or she has worked for at least five of ten years.

Furthermore, the condition must last at least one full year, continue indefinitely, or result in a person’s death. There is an exception to the 5-10 year rule. If the person can prove to the office that he or she was disabled before the age of 22, then he or she can use a parent’s work credit.

In order to prove legitimate disability, medical evidence must be provided to the Social Security Administration. If the claimant is currently working then the program is denied. In addition to medical proof of disability, the individual must also show evidence (usually doctor-supported) that they are unable to work.

SSI and SSDI are indeed very useful programs that help many Americans with poverty and disability. However, the qualifying process, not to mention the waiting process, can be excruciating. The Social Security Administration claims that the application will be reviewed and returned in about four months. However, some people claim that the waiting period is closer to a year. As of the year 2007, the application process was changed with the intent to speed things up.

What should you do if you are worried about disability insurance?

While it’s not customary to think of such a policy when you are young and healthy, financially speaking, it makes a lot of sense. Insurance companies are more likely to work with you and give you a good premium price if you have no immediate health problems or a risky job. Having both private disability coverage and government options is also a possiblity.

However, when you reach the age of 40 or 50, you are perceived as a higher risk for disability and may have to pay a higher penalty. Disability insurance prices are determined by the terms of payment, the length of time and the type of disability covered.

Type your zip code into the disability insurance quotes box on this page and start comparing your options today!