While it is easy for Houston, Texas, resident simply to group every disability benefit provided by the Social Security Administration under one label, the federal government in fact affords disability benefits under two separate programs, which are commonly referred to as SSDI and SSI, or Supplemental Security Income.
There are some subtle differences between the two programs, especially with respect to how a disabled Houston resident qualifies for each one. The most important thing to remember is that, under both programs, a person has to prove he or she has a disability that prevents him or her from working. Without that proof, an application for benefits will be denied completely.
In order to be eligible for SSDI, a person has to have worked in a position in which he or she paid payroll taxes that went in to the Social Security system. In effect, a disabled person on SSDI is being allowed to access his or her retirement benefits early. A person applying for SSDI is not subject to any income or asset limits and also may get a higher monthly payment if he or she is found to be disabled.
On the other hand, someone who is seeking for disability benefits under the SSI program does not have to have any work history. What he or she will have to show is that he or she has a limited income and also has limited access to property that could be used to pay bills. There are specific income and asset eligibility requirements with which an application must befamiliar so he or she can meet those standards.