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.