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Social Security Disability – Two Programs, Entirely Different - Forbes

Social Security has two different disability programs – one for workers who become disabled before reaching their full retirement age, and, another separate program for those with very little income and very few assets. The former is a benefit earned from working; the latter is a means-tested assistance program not based on work history. The first program is called “Social Security Disability Insurance” (SSDI), and the second is called “Supplemental Security Income” (SSI). These programs are often confused with each other, but each has an entirely separate set of criteria to determine eligibility for benefits. In this excellent Forbes Advisor article, contributor John Egan explains both programs, how they differ, and how to qualify for either. Something not explained in the article is that the programs are also separately funded – SSDI is funded from contributions workers make to the SS “Disability Insurance” trust fund, whereas SSI is funded from the government’s general revenue (usually augmented by state benefits). Thus SSI does not detract from Social Security’s general finances. Click here to read more.

Also, if you’re unsure about how these basics apply to you, or if you have any questions about your individual situation under Social Security, note that the AMAC Foundation provides a free-to-the-public advisory service to help Americans navigate the complexities of this program. Learn more about it here…

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