Generally, to be eligible for SSI, an individual also must be a resident of the United States and must be a citizen or a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Also, some noncitizen's granted a special status by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be eligible.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program financed through general revenues. SSI disability benefits are payable to adults or children who are disabled or blind, have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible. The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the State or decreased by countable income and resources. See www.socialsecurity.gov for an explanation of SSI benefit payment rates.
The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live. The basic SSI check is the same nationwide. Effective January 2005, the SSI payment for an eligible individual is $579 per month and $869 per month for an eligible couple.
If you get SSI, you also may be able to get other help from your state or county. For example, you may be able to get Medicaid, food stamps, or some other social services.
To be eligible for SSI a person must have $2,000 or less in countable resources. A married couple must have $3,000 or less in countable resources. If you own resources over the SSI limit, you may be able to get SSI benefits while trying to sell the resources.
Not all of your resources count toward the SSI resource limit. For example: