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Review of the Supplemental Security Income program

As a previous post here mentioned, Supplemental Security Income, or "SSI" for short, is one of two programs that the federal Social Security Administration oversees which, along with the SSDI program, constitute what Central Florida residents commonly think of as federal disability benefits.

The important thing to remember about SSI is that, like SSDI, a person applying for this benefit needs to prove that he or she is legally disabled before he or she can draw benefits. While what exactly constitutes a "disability" is often a question best left to a Social Security attorney, suffice it to say for now that a person is legally disabled if he or she is not working and, because of an illness or injury, cannot return to work in the short term.

SSI is different from SSDI in several respects. The good news is that, unlike SSDI, a person does not have to demonstrate any work history before drawing SSI benefits, meaning someone who has never been able to work regularly and even children under 18-years-old can qualify for SSI.

On the flip side, a person who wants to receive SSI benefits needs to meet several strict requirements regarding their income and assets. If their income or assets exceed these requirements, then they may not be able to get full SSI benefits and may not be eligible for benefits at all. Also, unlike SSDI, SSI benefits are capped, currently at $750 a month for an individual.

Still, Florida residents with children who have disability, as well as disabled adults of limited means in this state, will want to consider applying for SSI even if they are also applying for SSDI at the same time. Doing so may be an important step in achieving some measure of financial stability.

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