Social Security is a well-known government insurance program that involves a standard payroll tax deduction applied to working Americans. The government takes a certain amount from each paycheck, paid by both employee and employer, which varies depending on the worker's total income. Later in life, when those workers become disabled or choose to retire, they can draw Social Security insurance benefits that help them avoid outright poverty.
However, not all forms of Social Security come from direct contributions to the system. Individuals who have contributed little or who have not paid in enough via wage taxes to obtain Social Security benefits could still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals can receive both Socai Security Insurance and SSI if their disability or retirement payments fall below state guidelines.
What exactly is Supplemental Security Income?
SSI is a benefit intended to protect those who have incredibly low income due to advanced age, blindness or disability. Those with very little income, as well as those unable to earn income at all, can qualify for SSI. Parents providing care for minor children with disabilities can also sometimes secure SSI benefits on behalf of their disabled children.
What can you use SSI benefits for?
If you are an elderly or disabled adult who cannot work, SSI can give you a small amount of monthly cash income to help cover your basic expenses, such as rent, healthcare and groceries. If you are an adult caregiver for a disabled child, SSI can help offset the wages you might have learned if you weren't serving as a caregiver and the sometimes burdensome cost of caring for a disabled child, including special dietary considerations and special needs daycare.
Because it is a cash benefit, the recipient can theoretically use SSI for whatever expenses they need to cover. Applying for SSI can improve your standard of living, making it worth the time to apply or to appeal a denial of benefits.