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What is the difference between SSI and SSD? - Part II

A previous post recently discussed the differences between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability insurance. It may be useful to further explore the differences between these two programs. The benefits provided by SSI may not be familiar to everyone, but can be important to disabled individuals who do not meet the work history requirement to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but can meet the economic requirements to qualify for SSI benefits.

Social Security benefits, either regular or disability benefits, are generally based on what the worker has paid in and family members may also be able to receive the benefits in certain circumstances. On the other hand, SSI benefits are for disabled individuals who are elderly or disabled and also of limited means and resources. SSI benefits do not come out of Social Security trust fund, though the program is managed by the Social Security Administration. SSI benefits are paid out of the government's general operating fund. The trust fund is also reimbursed from the general operating funds for the costs of running the SSI program.

The variety of programs available, and the differences, requirements and benefits associated with them, can be complex, so it is important to thoroughly understand what options are available and the details for qualifying for each particular program that the disabled individuals may be eligible for. It is essential for many disabled individuals and their families to understand how to obtain badly needed disability benefits for their daily living.

Understanding that Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability and basic Social Security retirement benefits are all different programs is an excellent starting point. It is additionally useful to understand how it may be possible to qualify for benefits under each program and how to qualify for SSI when it is needed.

Source:, "Security Security and You: Please stop confusing SSI with Social Security," Tom Margenau, Dec. 8, 2016

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