Supplemental Security Income: what is it?

Many Tennessee residents have heard about Social Security Disability benefits. They may even know someone who is currently receiving these benefits. But not many individuals know a lot about Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These benefits are in place to help those that do not meet certain income levels or do not have adequate work history to qualify them for SSD. These benefits also help individuals who are blind, elderly or disabled.

The program uses similar criteria to approve individuals applying for both types of benefits, but SSI has unique income requirements. SSI may also be given to disabled children in some circumstances. Basically, in order to get SSD benefits, you need to be fully disabled and need to have been paying into the SSDI system at some point during the past 10 years.

Unlike SSD, which is funded through workers’ contributions into the Social Security trust fund, the funds for SSI come from general tax revenue. Many states will also add an additional benefit onto the federal benefits or have their own program.

In our next few posts we will look at the various intricacies and guidelines related to SSI. Because these benefits have very specific income requirements, it can be hard to successfully apply for such benefits. But the important part to understand is that there are many expenditures to take into account when calculating your income. For example, certain expenses may not count as income when applying for SSI. Each case will have its unique aspects to consider and overcome when applying for these benefits.