Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based program, allowing those have little or no income, and who are blind, elderly or disabled to receive benefit payments to cover basic costs for food, shelter and clothing.
Social Secrurity Disability (SSD) Insurance is a federally managed program that pays income replacement benefits to those who are unable to earn a living because of a severe impairment, and have contributed to their SSDI accounts by working and making regular payments into the system.
HOW IS SSI LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY?
- Both programs pay monthly benefits.
- The medical standards for disability are the same in both programs for individuals age 18 or older. There is a separate definition of disability under SSI for children from birth to age 18.
- SSA administers both programs.
HOW IS SSI DIFFERENT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
- Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to receive Social Security benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits.
- Unlike Social Security benefits, SSI benefits are not based on your prior work or a family member’s prior work.
- SSI is financed by general funds of the U.S. Treasury—personal income taxes, corporation taxes and other taxes. Social Security taxes collected under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) or the Self Employment Contributions Act (SECA) do not fund the SSI program.
- In most States, SSI beneficiaries also can get Medicaid (medical assistance) to pay for hospital stays, doctor bills, prescription drugs, and other health costs.
- SSI beneficiaries may also be eligible for food stamps in every State except California. In some States, an application for SSI also serves as an application for food assistance.
- SSI benefits are paid on the first of the month.
- To get SSI, you must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and have “limited” income and resources.
- In addition, to get SSI, you must also
– be a resident of the United States; and
– not be absent from the country for more than 30 days; and
– be either a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of eligible non-citizens.