What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability? Answer This is confusing to a lot of people because both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a program financed through general tax revenues-not through Social Security trust funds. SSI disability benefits are paid to people who have a disability and who don't own much or have a lot of income. Social Security disability insurance is a program that workers, employers and the self-employed pay for with their Social Security taxes. You qualify for these benefits based on your work history, and the amount of your benefit is based on your earnings.