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Both SSDI and SSI are programs for disabled individuals. However, the key difference is that SSDI benefits are available to individuals who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits (through paying taxes), while SSI disability benefits are available to individuals with low income and assets who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. 

SSDI is a benefit program that is based on your work history before becoming disabled, while SSI is a needs-based benefit program for those who have only worked briefly, or never at all, before becoming disabled. You must meet financial guidelines similar to other public assistance programs in order to qualify for SSI.