Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both federal programs that provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to retirement, disability, or other circumstances. However, there are key differences between the two programs. Social Security is a federal insurance program funded by payroll taxes, while Supplemental Security Income is a federal assistance program funded by general tax revenues.
Social Security was created in 1935 and is funded through payroll taxes. It is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who have retired, as well as to those who are disabled or otherwise unable to work. In addition to providing an income stream, Social Security also offers benefits such as Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security benefits are based on a person’s income and work history. In contrast, SSI is a need-based program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are disabled, blind, or over 65 years of age, and who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits are not based on a person’s work history, but rather on the individual’s financial circumstances. SSI benefits are also much lower than Social Security benefits.