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An overview of Supplemental Security Income benefits

Many of our readers may know that the Social Security Administration runs two different programs to help disabled Americans: Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. However, some people may not know the difference between these two programs, or why there are two different programs at all.

First and foremost, these two programs are funded in completely different ways. Social Security Disability benefits are funded by the Social Security taxes that American workers pay out of their paychecks. This is a separate fund that ensures that SSD benefits are available for workers who become disabled either by injury or illness. Supplemental Security Income, on the other hand, is funded from general tax revenues.

SSI benefits are intended to help disabled individuals who are under certain income thresholds. In essence, it is a program to help people who are both disabled and who have severely limited income options. This is why children with disabilities can qualify for SSI benefits - they may never work, therefore limiting their ability to contribute to the SSD benefits fund.

Once North Carolina residents look through the SSI benefit requirements and believe they are eligible to receive these benefits, applying for SSI benefits is the next step. However, it is important for the application to be complete. The appropriate medical and financial information must be provided to the Social Security Administration in the initial application. It is important for first-time applications for SSI benefits to get the right information about what needs to be included in the application and what the next steps are in the application process.

Source: ssa.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits," Accessed March 26, 2017

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