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Supplemental Security Income

Posted on:3/20/2012
The Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) is Title XVI of the Social Security Act of 1935. The SSI program, like the Social Security Disability Program provides a cash grant for a disabled child or adult. It was enacted in 1972.


Title XVI is applicable to residents of the United States, defined to include the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Supplemental Security Income is not available to residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and American Samoa (the Territories), where the titles that were replaced by SSI remain in effect and provide a grant-in-aid program for people with disabilities.


Supplemental security income provides a subsistence level of income to disabled adults and children. A disabled adult is one who cannot continue to do previous work or other work in the national economy. A disabled child is an individual under the age of eighteen having a mental or physical impairment.

The eligibility rules for SSI parallel in most ways the rules for the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) except that applicants for SSI bases their claims on their disabling condition and lack of income, not on their disabling condition and work history. The means test for SSI takes into account the applicant's income, including the income of a non-disabled spouse. In the same manner, the income of a parent who resides with the child applicant is deemed to be available to the child.



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