The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal-run program designed to provide financial assistance to elderly, blind, or disabled individuals who have limited income and resources. You must not get confused, because it’s not the same as the SSDI program (don’t worry, we’ll explain the differences later).
SSI benefits are available to those who haven’t worked enough to qualify for SSDI or haven’t paid into the Social Security system due to personal circumstances. The program aims to ensure a minimum level of income for vulnerable individuals who are unable to support themselves due to their disabilities.
Applyin for the SSI and SSDI programs in Texas: differences and requisites
The primary difference between SSI and SSDI lies in the eligibility requirements. While both programs provide financial assistance to individuals with disabilities, SSI is a means-tested program, and eligibility is determined based on financial need.
On the other hand, SSDI is an insurance program that requires a sufficient work history and contributions to the Social Security system. Additionally, SSI benefits are not contingent on an applicant’s prior work history and can be available to low-income individuals who may not have worked long enough to be eligible for SSDI.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, applicants must have a significant work history and have paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years. This means that beneficiaries have worked long enough to earn enough “credits” through their contributions to the Social Security system, which enables them to receive disability benefits in the event they become unable to work due to a qualifying disability.
Starting your application for SSDI benefits
Texas residents should go directly to the official SSA website and fill out an online application. Alternatively, applicants can call the SSA’s toll-free number to apply over the phone or schedule an appointment at a local SSA office for in-person assistance.
You could be eligible for the SSI benefits if:
- You household’s income is below the federal benefit rate (FBR), which varies based on your living situation and other factors. Income includes money you earn, Social Security benefits, and any other financial support you receive.
- Your countable resources must not exceed the limit set by the SSA. Countable resources include cash, bank accounts, stocks, and real estate, but certain assets like your primary residence and some personal belongings are excluded.
- Are at least 65 years old, blind, or disabled.
- You must be a resident of the United States and live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands to qualify.
You and your household are considered disabled under Social Security rules, and could apply for the SSDI, if:
- You cannot work due to a medical condition that impedes it.
- You cannot do work that you did in the past.
- We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition, or conditions.
- Your disability has lasted -or is expected to last for- at least one year, or is expected to result in death.