Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Social Security (SSI)

In general, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) pays more per month than Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In 2018, SSA pays an average monthly SSDI rate of $1,197—as compared to the current maximum SSI rate of $750 per month for individuals. Unlike SSDI—which remains the same and only increase if the federal government approves cost-of-living increases—SSI can vary from one month to the next depending on an individual’s income and assets. SSI may also be much less than the $750/month maximum rate. In all circumstances, SSDI and SSI end once an individual reaches full retirement age at 65 or 66 (based on an individual’s date of birth). An individual cannot receive SSDI or SSI benefits while they receive their full retirement benefits. If an individual elects to receive early Social Security retirement at age 62 or later—and takes the penalty to do so—this may impact the SSDI or SSI benefits an individual receives. The rules are complex regarding the impact of Social Security early retirement on SSDI and SSI benefits, making it a wise idea to always consult an experienced disability benefits attorney.