While Oklahoma residents may want to remain independent, financially and mentally, as long as possible, life does not always work out that way. Accidents or age-related illnesses can prevent someone from performing daily tasks and working. As a result, not only does a person become physically dependent on others, one is also not able to make ends meet. Luckily, federal programs exist to provide financial support to those who are eligible for it. Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income programs, administered by the Social Security Administration, are two such programs. Since they sound similar and are managed by the same administration, people confuse the two. However, it is important to understand the many differences between them to ensure that applicants do not waste time and energy by applying to the wrong program.
SSD benefits are considered entitlement programs, which means workers are paying for them through their social security taxes. These taxes are generally put in a trust and one qualifies for them through their work history. Therefore, benefits are dependent on earnings. There is no income limit nor is there any resource limit. Beneficiaries are for those 62 and older, have a disability, or are eligible family members. Where one lives also does not affect SSD benefits.
SSI on the other hand, are based on need and financed by general revenue. Income is limited, as are resources. However, work history is not a factor for eligibility. Beneficiaries include those 65 and older and those who have a disability or are blind. Family members are not eligible to receive SSI. Where one lives can affect one’s benefits, which is why it is important to report changes in living arrangements right away.
Reporting requirements are different for both programs and it is important to understand which one an applicant is eligible for, as to not waste time and energy applying for the wrong program. However, one can be eligible for both at the same time. Consulting an experienced attorney to understand the criteria can be helpful for Oklahoma residents.