Title XVI Supplemental Security Income

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In 1972, Congress passed Title XVI of the Social Security Act. This federalized state programs for people who were aged, blind or disabled, and poor.

  • To be eligible for SSI benefits, an individual must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and have "limited" income and resources.
  • SSI benefits are not based on prior work or a family member's prior work.
  • SSI is financed by general funds of the U.S. Treasury. Social Security taxes withheld under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) do not fund the SSI program.
  • SSI benefits are paid on the first of the month for the entire month.
  • In addition, to be eligible for SSI benefits, an individual must:
    • be a resident of the United States, and
    • not be absent from the country for more than 30 days; and
    • be either a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of eligible non-citizens

Definition of Disability - Child

  • A child may be eligible for SSI disability benefits beginning as early as the date of birth; there is no minimum age requirement.
  • To be eligible for SSI benefits, a child must be either blind or disabled.
  • An individual under age 18 is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:
    • results in marked and severe functional limitations; and
    • can be expected to result in death; or
    • has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.