SSA manages two programs that provide benefits based on disability or blindness, the
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) disability program. Title II of the Social Security Act (Act) authorizes
SSDI benefits, and title XVI of the Act authorizes SSI disability benefit payments.
The SSDI program provides benefits to insured disabled or blind adults covered by
workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust funds. We base these contributions
on a person’s earnings under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Certain
family members may also be eligible for benefits from the person’s earnings record.
The SSI disability program makes monthly payments to aged (65 or older), disabled,
or blind adults and children who have limited income and resources. The payments for
SSI benefits come from the general fund of the United States Treasury. Many States
also pay a supplemental benefit to persons in addition to their Federal benefits.
NOTE: Unlike other programs, Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits
are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.