What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federally funded assistance program provided for individuals who are aged, disabled, or blind and have limited income. For purposes of receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) a disability is defined as a mental or physical health limitation that is so severe that an individual is unable to perform "substantial gainful activity". In addition, the disability is so severe that it is expected to last for at least 12 months continuously or result in death.
In addition to being aged, disabled, or blind and having a limited income, individuals must be a United States citizen of one of the fifty states, a national or meet the requirements of certain categories of an alien. The individual also may not be absent from the United States for more then thirty consecutive days.
In general, the Supplemental Security Income program will provide supplemental monthly payments to individuals for food, shelter and clothing. Unlike the Social Security Disability Insurance the Supplemental Security Income program does not require an individual to have earned a certain number of work credits to qualify. The Supplemental Security Income program is also unlike Social Security which provides retirement benefits for individuals who have worked and paid social security taxes. Most people who are over the age of 65 can receive Social Security benefits with out having to meet income or health requirements.
The medical disability requirements and the process for receiving benefits are similar for both the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program. The application process will require that information regarding your medical health, work and education is provided in order to determine which program will best meet your needs.
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To qualify for SSI you do not have to work or pay money into the system and you do not have to be insured. You will, however, have to prove you have VERY limited income and resources to qualify for SSI benefits.
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