Social Security Benefit Programs – SSI versus Disability Benefits

Types of Social Security Benefits.

My law practice typically deals with two types of Social Security cases – SSI benefits and Disability benefits. There are lots of names for these benefits.

SSI is sometimes called Title XVI, Title 16, T16, or just Supplemental Security Income. Disability benefits can be called Title II, Title 2, T2, DIB, or RSDI. In reality, there are many types of benefits available under RSDI, whcih stands for Retirement Survivors and Disability Insurance.

The biggest difference between Disability and SSI is that for adults, Disability is usually based on your work records, and SSI is based on your assets and income. Think of it this way: Disability is insurance that you pay for when you earn wages (I remember wondering who FICA was the first time I ever got a paycheck), and SSI is a welfare program. It’s true that the wage earner in a Disability case is not always the person seeking benefits. A child can get benefits if a parent becomes disabled or passes away. A widow can get benefits based on the earnings of a deceased spouse.