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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federally funded government program that pays benefits to people who are 65 or older, disabled or blind, and have limited income. Monthly benefits provide a basic minimum level of income for people based on meeting several requirements. This overview will help you to better understand program requirements, the application process, and other critical information that will better help you to gain approval and start receiving benefits.

SSI is one of two disability programs administered by Social Security. The other is Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) which also provides benefits for people in need. The main difference between the two programs is that SSI is based strictly on need, while SSDI pays benefits to people who have paid Social Security taxes through payroll deductions during the course of their working life.

To be eligible for SSDI, a person must have a long-term disability or medical condition that will last for at least one year or more, or until they die. SSI offers benefits for people who do not qualify for SSDI (which generally pays more), either because they have not worked and paid into the system to meet eligibility requirements, or they are young and new to the workforce and have not acquired enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.