How to Tell What You’re On

Not sure if you are on SSI or SSDI or a different form of Social Security?

You are not alone. It’s very confusing and many people don’t know.

Here’s a few ways you can figure it out so life will start making a bit more sense:

Types of Benefits

There are two main types of benefits. Both forms are run by the Social Security Administration, so it’s a bit confusing!

ONE: Supplement Security Income – This is usually called SSI. This includes SSI for children, SSI for disabled adults, and SSI for retired people.

TWO: Social Security Benefits – This includes Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI, Social Security retirement benefits, spousal, widows, survivors, and disabled adult children benefits.

How to Find Out What You are On

Try looking for the words “Social Security” or the words “Supplemental Security Income”

Look Online: If you have an online account at If you can’t tell, try clicking on the link for “benefit verification letter.”

Call and Ask: You can call Social Security and ask what you are on.

Read Your Mail: Look at any letters they have sent you.

Check Your Bank Statement: Sometimes you can tell by what is written there. Sometimes you can’t.

Payment Calendar: Sometimes you can get a clue by looking at what date you are paid: Social Security Payment Calendar

Medicare or Medicaid: If you are on Medicare, you are definitely receiving some form of Social Security. You are not on SSI only. You may get Medicaid as well.

More Details On Different Kinds of Benefits

SSI. Supplemental Insurance Income. Available for disabled children, adults, and seniors. It is for people who are low-income.

SSDI. Social Security Disability Insurance. Sometimes this is just called “Social Security Benefits” Available for disabled adults. It is for people who have worked and paid taxes.

SSI + SSDI. Some people get a really low SSDI check, so they also get some SSI.

SSI + Another form of Social Security. Some people are on another form of Social Security, but their check is really low. So they also get some SSI.

Disabled Adult Child benefits. For disabled adults who have a parent who is deceased, retired, or also disabled. Disabled Adult Child Benefits. This is sometimes called “Child Disability Benefits”

Spousal and Survivor’s benefit. Social Security also has benefits for widows, spouses, and ex-spouses and children whose parents have died. Sometimes this is just called “Social Security Benefits.”

Social Security retirement – There are a two different types of Social Security retirement. If you are retired, you might be on Supplemental Security Income retirement, or you might be on Social Security benefits retirement, or you might be on both.

Learn More

What’s the Difference between SSI and SSDI?

21 thoughts on “How to Tell What You’re On”

  1. i am the payee of my 2 adult children 22 and 24 they both get ssi. will they get a stimulus check. i already got mine in the mail.


  2. I am the payee of 5 of my grandkids who live with me. Do I have to fill out anything online or will they automatic get the stimulus check? If I have to fill out forms do I do each separate?


  3. This is the most concise, well laid out, and informative article Ive seen thus far, after hours of sorting through so many contradictory sources. Thank you!


  4. I was completely unaware there was so much to know “after the decision is made”.

    There are so many things that I been completely unaware of until now. What a wonderful resource this is. I haven’t been able to put this aside. – No kidding

    I gone from one resource to another within your website that a new day has come and yet I feel both excited and refreshed

    Thank you for your time and efforts in keep us informed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie, I can’t find where I put my first question so I will just have to ask again…..sorry! I receive 3checks actually one from ssa, one from ssi, and one from state. I really do not want to be on ssi and the st check, they are less by about 200 of my ssdi I was wondering if I could collect on 1/2of my ex spouse disability on top of mine at age 58? If I could I would not have to deal with ssi anymore. And I think I might still get Medicaid not sure but hope so.


  6. I think I am on both ssdi and ssi I receive 3 checks actually one says ssi treas 310, one is from the state ssi, the other one says said ssa treas 310(xxsoc sec)and I have both Medicare and Medicaid. So I think I am on both… What I am wondering if because my ex spouse is on disability and collecting 1500.00 per month. Would I be ably to collect 1/2 which is 199 more then I receive on one which says xx soc sec. But it is less than all three combine by about 116.40 would I be better off trying to collect off his disability, would I have more income after all the figuring they do. I am finding it hard to stay in my home on my benifets.


    1. Sorry for the delayed response.

      It sounds like you might be on both as you said. The state also pays a small supplement to people on SSI in some states.

      When you reach age 62, social security will require you to apply for spousal benefits if you are entitled to them. Your total check will only go up if the spousal benefits are equal more than your total now. If your ex passes away, spousal benefits may convert to survivor’s benefits which is generally a higher amount. Also, if your ex passes away, you may be able to collect survivors benefits starting at age 50, since you are disabled. Hope this helps.


  7. I get both. But I have a problem I can’t figure out. My granddaughter is 19 and in college on scholarship, Pell, and Tap. She is bipolar and NOT on any Social Security as of yet. I want to move where she goes to college and have her live with me because of her illness. However, she would have to help pay half the rent. Her dorm with food plan is $6,000. Living with me would cost $4,800 at most {probably less} saving her $1, 200 which is better used for her education, etc.
    My question is would my Social Security payments { I hate calling them benefits as I earned my Social Security} be lowered because she’d be paying half the rent? Food, gas, electric, internet, phone would all be on me. Thank you for answering this. If you can, please email me. Again, my thanks.
    Kind Regards,


    1. Hi delicia,

      Your SSI will not be impacted as long as you pay your half.

      If she gets SSI, then she would need to pay half her rent, food, and utilities.

      Social security only cares about rent, food and basic utilities. They do not care who pays for internet and gas 🙂

      If your food is purchased and prepared separately, you can apply for separate food stamps accounts if you wish, or you can apply for food stamps on your own without her. Food stamps has weird rules about college students, so I’m not sure how it works if you apply combined.

      It’s simplest if she pays her rent directly to the landlord, so you don’t have funds going in and out of your account.

      Hope it goes great for you ❤


  8. Hello, thank you so much for helping me with this question. My son is on Disabled Adult Child and my question is can I request a higher amount for rent? He is currently at $500/month and we need to raise it to 625/month. Is that even possible? thank you again for his help.


    1. Social Security does not typically care how much rent someone pays for disabled adult child benefits.

      The only way I can think they might care is if someone was representative payee and overcharging (charging much more than is fair market rate for the area) – perhaps that could be seen as taking advantage?

      There are specific rent rules for SSI. Is he also on SSI?


  9. I moved in with a friend of the family. I pay 300 in rent and half the utilities. My friend is charging me 300 but she only pays 175. Can she do that? And will that affect my as I?


    1. Paying too much rent won’t impact your SSI. Just make sure you have a signed written lease or agreement and pay by check or get receipts every month so you can show Social Security that you are paying.

      If you feel your friend is overcharging you, you could talk to the landlord or look into living somewhere else?


  10. i recieved two checks one reads ssi for Nov and one reads soc sec for Oct the one for Nov is for 500.00 and the one for oct is 357.00 i am trying to figure out why i got two checks if i am recieving both ssi and ssdi


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