Do you get SSI, SSDI, or Both?

Whenever you visit your local Social Security office, remember to bring at least one form of identification that has your date of birth and social security number.

People who receive Social Security disability benefits often don’t know which one they have (SSI or SSDI), let alone understand all the ins and outs. Some might get both and not even know it. Be the exception and find out what kind of disability benefits you receive!

How You Can Find Out

To confirm what benefits you get, call Social Security Toll-Free at 1-800-772-1213 and ask them to mail you a copy of your “Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) SSA-2459 form,” or visit your local Social Security office  and request one. If you’re under 18 or have a Representative Payee, your parent/guardian or Representative Payee can help you with this.  The information on your BPQY is extremely important, especially if you’re thinking about Going to Work  and/or Going to School. It gives you a current snapshot of your:

  • Disability Cash Benefits
  • -Scheduled Medical Reviews-
  • Health Insurance
  • Work History

Interested in seeing a sample of a BPQY? If so, click herePDF-Icon

If you need help understanding your BPQY, ask for clarification from Social Security or a benefits specialist in your area. If you find any errors on your BPQY, have your local Social Security office correct these and obtain a copy of your new BPQY!


Below is a chart that outlines some of the major differences between the two main Social Security disability programs — Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Disability Eligibility Requirements

You must be declared medically disabled under the adult medical standards

You must be declared medically disabled under the adult medical standards

Financial Eligibility Requirements

For an individual, you must have assets below $2,000

There are no income or asset limits

Work Eligibility Requirements

You don’t need any work history

You must have a certain amount of work history

Type of Health Insurance Coverage

You’ll be automatically enrolled in the state Medicaid program (in MA it’s called MassHealth)

After receiving 24 months of SSDI checks, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare

Monthly Cash Benefits

Cash payments can vary from month-to-month depending on your income, living situation, etc.

Cash payments are usually the same from month-to-month and are based on your work history.

If you receive SSI and are under 18, things work a bit differently. To get the specifics about this, and what will happen after you turn 18, click here.

Sometimes you can receive a form of SSDI that’s called Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB). This is something you get based on a disabled, deceased or retired parent’s work history.  To be eligible, you have to have been diagnosed as a person with a disability prior to age 22 and be ineligible for SSDI based on your own work history.  To get more information, check out this this presentation.

Get an Online Account with Social Security

Create an online account with the Social Security Administration! This is a great way to keep track of your benefits. For instructions on setting up an account click here and sign up today