SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, and it is an insurance program paid for by payroll taxes. In order to qualify for SSDI payments if you become disabled, you have to earn a certain number of working credits. Credits are determined by how much money you make; for example, in 2018, you earned one credit for every $1,320 of gross earnings. You can earn a maximum of four credits every year.
However, 20 of those credits have to have been earned in the 40 quarters ending the year before you became disabled, which roughly translates to a requirement that you worked five years out of the ten years prior to your disability’s onset date. Since this program pays you based on your earnings, most people who file successful claims for and receive SSDI benefits receive between $1,200 and $2,400 each month.
SSI, on the other hand, stands for Supplemental Security Income, and it is a benefits program designed for people who do not have enough earnings to qualify for SSDI. Since it operates as a welfare program, there is a limit to how much you can receive. In 2018, you could only receive up to $750 per month.