SSI, or Supplemental Security Income is not the same benefit as  social security disability.  SSI was specifically created to pay a monthly benefit to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older.  Blind or disabled children can also get SSI benefits.  Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD).  In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits.  SSI benefits are administered by the social security administration.

Unlike social security benefits, SSI benefits are not based on your work history or a family member’s work history.  These benefits are financed by general funds of the U.S. Treasury, in other words by personal, corporate or other taxes.  SSI benefits are not paid for by your contributions to social security through your employer so there is no requirement that you “pay in to the system” to qualify for this benefit.    In most states a person who receives SSI can also get Medicaid for health care coverage.  SSI beneficiaries are also usually eligible for food stamps.

If you think you qualify for SSI benefits you should contact your local social security office or an attorney who specializes in social security law.