People in Virginia who experience a disability or blindness that results in their inability to work and earn a living need to understand their options for financial assistance. Worker’s compensation benefits may be available in some situations such as if a disability is related to an accident that happened at work. However, when these benefits are not options, people might be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance program benefits and possibly even benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program.
As explained by the Social Security Administration, both of these programs are designed to help people who are blind or disabled. The Supplemental Security Income program also provides benefits to people who are elderly and meet the requirements. However, there are important differences between them. Some people may qualify for benefits under both programs simultaneously but it is also highly possible that they meet the criteria for one program only.
AARP indicates that for a person to have benefits available under the SSD program, also sometimes called SSDI program, they will need to have contributed to it via paycheck deductions. For benefits under the SSI program, however, a person does not need to have paid into the program as these benefits are intended to help those with low incomes and little to no assets. While employee contributions fund SSD it is general income tax revenue that funds SSI.
For a person who has contributed to SSD, their widowed spouse or dependent child may be able to receive their benefits. For either program, people must meet the criteria for being disabled or blind per the Social Security Administration’s rules.