The Social Security Administration provides a number of different benefits, including Supplemental Security Income. There is some overlap between SSI and other benefits. For example, when you apply for SSI, you are also applying for Social Security benefits.

Overlaps such as these, as well as name similarities, can cause some confusion between SSI and other benefits. The following is a brief explanation of SSI to answer some of the questions you might have.

1. Who is eligible to receive SSI?

You are eligible to apply for SSI if you are a U.S. citizen, national or qualified alien who lives in the United States. You cannot be absent from the U.S., which includes the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands, for 30 or more consecutive days. You must be able to demonstrate limited resources or income related to at least one of the following circumstances:

  • Age over 65
  • Blindness
  • Disability

2. Does SSI eligibility depend on work history?

SSI eligibility depends on your income level. This makes it different from Social Security and Social Security Disability benefits, for which you or a family member has to have a qualifying work history over a certain period of time.

4. Where does the funding for SSI come from?

Unlike other benefits, SSI funds do not come from Social Security taxes. Rather, the financing comes from corporate taxes, personal income taxes and other U.S. Treasury general funds.

5. Can children receive SSI?

Applicants under the age of 18 have to meet different medical standards for disability to be eligible for SSI. However, children who meet these standards can qualify and receive benefits. It is not necessary for you or your child to be over the age of 65 if you meet the other requirements.