SSA vs. SSI: What's the Difference?
There is often confusion about Social Security (SSA) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because you apply for both programs with the Social Security Administration. But, the programs are different. SSA is an entitlement program and SSI is needs-based.
SSABenefits based on earnings; Financed by employer and wage contributions; No income limit; No resource limit; Must have enough work credits; Medicare; Benefit Types: - Retirement (age 62 & older) - Survivor - Disability (includes blindness); Provides benefits to eligible family members; Benefit amount based on average lifetime earnings; Other income does NOT affect benefits (Except wages may affect benefits under full retirement age or disability benefits); Where you live or who lives with you does NOT affect benefits
SSIBenefits based on need; Financed by General Revenues; Limited income; Limited resources; No work credits are required; Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California); Benefit Types: - Aged (age 65 and older) - Disability (any age, includes children) - Blindness (any age, includes children); No family benefits; Benefit amount based on Federal and State laws; Other income MAY affect benefits - report any income you receive; Where you live or who lives with you MAY affect benefits - report all