Written by attorney Janet Pitts Cox

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance ( SSI): The Basics

There are two types of disability benefits that can be received from Social Security: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. In truth, the two programs share the same definition of disability, but are quite different for whom they cover, when and how. The following is a very basic description of the disability programs provided under the Social Security Act, titles II and XVI, to provide you with a clearer understanding of what you or a loved one may be entitled to under the law.

Additional resources provided by the author

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The Social Security Act is very complex, and there are many exceptions to almost every rule. The Social Security government website ( has a wealth of general information and downloadable PDFs; it is another helpful tool to assist in educating oneself on these important subjects. The website also offers a toll-free number for those who wish to speak with a live representative. I am personally aware that the wait times to get a live person on the phone can be very long, and that the quality and accuracy of the information varies from one representative to another. Please feel free to contact me as another subject matter resource. I’m happy to provide additional information or clarification on social security topics. I can be reached via my website or email me directly at [email protected]

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