For those in Ohio who are unable to work, the federal government provides a couple of different ways for those people to obtain financial assistance. If you have physical or cognitive challenges, are blind or suffer a long-term injury or disability than you may be able to receive some financial help. The two acronyms you may hear most often are SSI and SSDI. These two names sound similar but their benefits and qualifications are different.

According to the NCOA, SSI and SSDI are the most common programs that the Social Security Administration offers. SSI is Supplemental Security Income. This is a needs-based program. It provides funding for a person’s basic needs: food, shelter and clothing. SSI benefits are for those who cannot work, such as the blind, disabled or those who have a long-term mental or physical condition.

SSDI, on the other hand, is Social Security Disability Insurance. For those who cannot work due to a medical condition, this pays benefits. This program may even assist family members. In order to qualify, a person must work first. Then, following the person’s work history, he or she must have developed a disability. The Social Security Administration defines all qualifying disabilities. If a person cannot work for a year or more, then he or she generally qualifies for SSDI benefits.

The SSA defines disabilities in relation to whether or not you can perform work. Partial disability and short-term disability do not apply. In some cases, if a person has limited income and a limited work history, he or she may be able to apply for both SSI and SSDI.