In Wednesday’s post, we discussed how SSDI benefits are a form of insurance, because you can only receive them if you have worked long enough to have paid enough in FICA taxes to be eligible for the benefits. SSI benefits often get lumped in with SSDI benefits, but the two have important differences. The one trait they do share is that the Social Security Administration uses the same criteria of “disability” to evaluate eligibility for both types of benefits, but that is about where the similarities end, however.
SSI or Supplemental Security Income benefits are not a type of disability insurance like SSDI is. SSI benefits are a form of financial assistance for low income, disabled Americans. President Nixon created SSI in 1974 in order to standardize the way that states were providing the same type of benefits. Nixon brought all those different programs under the auspices of SSI, a single federal program that the Social Security Administration could run.
In reference to Monday’s post that discussed the numbers behind SSDI beneficiaries, there are even fewer SSI beneficiaries than SSDI ones. There are no work requirements to receive SSI benefits, but applicants have to meet income/asset requirements in addition to being older than 65, blind or disabled. The financial requirements are stringent – individuals may not have more than $2,000 in assets, and couples no more than $3,000.
SSI benefits do not come from the Social Security Trust Fund, which is the source of funding that often appears in the news when projections say that Social Security benefits are going to run out. SSI benefits come from general Treasury funds, which is the money the federal government takes in via taxes and uses to fund everything that it does.
Do you think that you or a family member might be eligible for SSI benefits? More details are available from the experts at a Tulsa SSI law firm.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys