There are many forms of government cash assistance that help many Americans pay for necessities, like food, shelter, health care and much more. These programs are reserved for certain individuals who meet specific qualifications, such as the elderly, those who’ve lost their jobs, those with disabilities and low-income individuals.
Here are some of the different types of cash assistance that the government offers and the requirements for each to help you determine which programs you qualify for:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides different types of payments to Americans: the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and finally the Social Security Retirement Income, each of them with their own set of requirements and application method.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration.
SSI provides qualifying individuals monthly cash assistance payments to pay for food, clothing, shelter and other necessities.
In many cases, you can receive SSI and Medicare as well as SSI and disability at the same time.
In order to qualify for this program, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Be age 65 years or older.
- Be legally blind.
- Have a qualifying disability.
- Have limited income, including from:
o Money you earn from work.
o Money you receive from other assistance programs, including Social Security benefits, workers compensation, unemployment, VA and friends or family.
- Free food or shelter.
- Have limited resources across cash, bank accounts, stocks, savings bonds, land, vehicles and personal property, life insurance and anything else that could be liquidated or used for food or shelter.
You can apply for SSI benefits online, at your local Social Security Office or over the phone at 1-800-772-1213.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance goes hand in hand with the SSI program to provide funds to people with disabilities.
What sets this program apart is that you must have worked a certain number of years over a recent period of time and paid Social Security taxes during that time in order to be “insured.”
When applying for disability, you must have all the necessary paperwork and documentation of your work history, military history (if applicable), workers compensation benefits, identification, medical documentation of your disability and more.
One of the fastest ways to complete your Social Security disability application and receive your cash assistance.
Social Security Retirement Income
When you reach a certain age, you can retire and receive money from Social Security and pension income.
Use the Social Security estimator on the SSA website to determine how much you can expect to receive from Social Security based on the year you were born and the age at which you retire.
You can start to receive retirement benefits through Social Security when you reach Social Security retirement age, which is 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born.
You can also start receiving them early at age 62, however, you will receive 30% to 35% less than you would if you had waited until reaching full retirement age.
Finally, you can also delay your Social Security payments and earn delayed credit that increases your monthly Social Security check amounts.
However, you stop earning credit at the age of 70, but you could be earning upwards of 120% of your retirement benefits amount.