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What is Supplemental Security Income?

If you are disabled and your medical condition prevents you from working, you may be interested in learning about which benefits are available for people with disabilities.

The two programs available for people with disabilities are the Social Security Disability and the Supplemental Security Income programs.

Both of these programs are administered by the Social Security Administration, however, the two programs are not the same. To receive benefits under the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program, you have to have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

In contrast, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides benefits based on a person’s financial need. Unlike SSDI, program recipients are not required to have paid into the program.

Overview of Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that is funded by general tax revenue; it is NOT funded by people’s Social Security taxes. The SSI program is specifically for disabled individuals who have little to no income:

  • The blind (individual has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in their better eye when they use a correcting lens, or the visual field in their better eye is no greater than 20 degrees),
  • The elderly (65 or older),
  • The disabled.

SSI was designed to help the above individuals financially so they can pay for the most basic of life necessities, such as food, clothing, and a roof over their head.

Are you eligible for SSI?

To be eligible for SSI, you must be 65 or older, blind, or disabled. You must also have limited resources and income, and you must be a U.S. citizen or national, or you must fall into a certain category of aliens.

Generally, any alien who is subject to removal or deportation does not qualify for SSI.

Children may qualify for SSI as well. If a child is under the age of 18, the SSA may consider him or her “disabled” if a medical doctor can verify that they have a definite physical or mental impairment, and this includes an emotional or learning problem that results in:

  • A severe functional limitation,
  • Has lasted or is expected to last 12 months or longer, or
  • Is expected to result in death.

To learn more about the SSI and SSDI programs, we invite you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. One of our Dallas Social Security Disability attorneys would be glad to answer your questions in a consultation.