Difference Between Social Security and Supplemental Security Income(SSI)

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Social Security and Supplemental Security Income(SSI)

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The terms social security and supplement security income are in a way similar to one another, but the criteria adopted in each of them are different and have unique implications from that the other. Both of the services apply to U.S. citizens only.
Social security is the benefit/service provided to the persons who have served their work for more than ten years or so. The benefits received are only eligible for retired persons or physically disabled people. On the other hand, supplemental security income is only provided for the ones who are physically handicapped, have any kind of disability, are blind/deaf/dumb, or are above the age of 65.

Social Security Vs Supplemental Security Income

As the two programs have different basis for funding and payment, both of them have specified institutions and processes for getting into it legally.
The social security program was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the funding is through a dedicated payroll tax (payroll tax refers to the tax paid by the salary receivers and salary payers) process. Integrally, it is paid by the workers and job holders; the self-employed/business persons are eligible to pay the tax. The percentages of tax to be paid are pre-decided; the employees and the employers are fixed to be paid 6.2 percent for the amount up to $147,000, whereas the business holders should pay 12.4 percent of the taxable amount. These amounts are then paid accordingly to the right criteria holder.
The supplemental security income was incorporated by title 16 of the social security act; the idea of this program began in 1972 under the social security amendments, but the implementation started in 1974. It is funded by U.S. Treasury funds. An approximate no. of 8 million Americans are being advantaged by this program. This is launched to give the appropriate financial assistance to the people who are willing to get educated but, due to some disability or any other issue, are unable to do so.

Difference Between Social Security And Supplemental Security Income In Tabular Form

Basis Social security Supplemental security income
Definition A scheme provides the retired, unemployed, or else by financial terms and benefits to cover some of the areas such as sickness, invalidity in some parts, and many more. A scheme providing the physically challenged persons with an adequate amount of money to lead a healthy life.
Eligibility The retired persons, educated unemployed persons or keen to work but disabled. The retired persons, old aged, blind, partially or wholly disabled in any area.
Funding These are funded by a dedicated payroll tax. These are funded by the U.S. Treasury funds.
Year of Initializing 1936 was the year of commencement of this program to know the state of salary of U.S. workers. 1974 was the year of commencement of this program to replace the other federal 50 programs implied in the various parts of Columbia.
Average Amount Paid The benefit receivers get an average of $1,614/month. Disabled persons and widows get a slightly lower amount. The receivers get $841/month for an individual whereas a couple receives around $1,261/month.

What Is Social Security?

When we are talking about the citizens and their welfare, a sense of familiarity and relatedness arrives instantly in our hearts. The same was realized when social security programs and other related helping schemes were launched. Those citizens who have contributed to the country’s welfare, have been true patriots, or can be welfare being for the country are provided assurances in different areas. Being specific in the above lines does not mean that the disabled or less profitable persons are being discriminated against in any way, no, they are not. All are given equal and utmost amount of money/pension. How social security is provided is quite variated, which includes maternity benefits, health insurance, voluntary social insurance, schemes regarding the provident fund, and many more.

It is trying to tackle multiple issues important for the aged and disabled group of people, having savings for old age life but still living in fear of losing all savings in the day-to-day chores is a thought every aged person starts to receive. For the sake of fulfilling the basic material needs of an individual, this scheme was seen to be a boon. The dependency of an old person declines once he/she is capable of making his daily bread on his own. This scheme, as said above, is proving to be a saver of human dignity and self-confidence that one must have himself.

Those who have lost their breadwinner or their only working partner are immensely affected and deeply drowned in emotional and financial terms. Considering these points, the federal social security program was launched in 1935, it was decided that the amount paid to retirees will be decided on the salary they must have received during their job time and the age of the person. As an example, a person Rajeev the breadwinner of his family has, turned the age of 65 in 2022, he’s retiring, and the amount he earned during his time was approximately 4,50,000 rupees per annum. So the pension amount or the security amount will be decided based on his earnings.

Types Of Social Security (Provided In India)

National Pension System

The term ‘defined benefit’ is used righteously for pension; this amount is generally paid to retirees, widows, and some specific disabled persons. The state or the government pays the amount every month. It is said that persons above 65 of age are eligible for the criteria of getting pensions, every state has a different age limit, such as 65 in India. In some areas, a bomb diffuser is seriously injured while doing a task; he is physically challenged then and is unable to work again like before. In such a case, the employer is liable for paying a compensating amount to the individual’s family, which will be termed a pension.

Maternity Benefits

As the act specifies, the maternity benefits are provided to the ‘to be moms’, generally saying this is to give financial support to the working women who should be given rest during the time of their pregnancy. There is a fixed period of paid leave decided for the pregnant ladies, it has terms and conditions also, i.e., the lady should be working in an organization which has a minimum of 10 employees working legally to earn their living. Secondly, she must be working in that organization for a minimum of 80 days in the previous 12 months.

The maternity benefit provided earlier was of 12 weeks for the lady, but now it has been amended and changed for the better, which is to 26 weeks now. It is now a law in India to avail six months of paid leave to the mother. Certain other parts are also described as, such as some companies do not provide six months of leave as TCS.

Atal Pension Yojana

All bank holders are eligible for this yojana, all the persons/adults in the age group 18-40; the pension compensating amount is paid, it is fixed to be beginning from 1000 rupees per month to 5000 rupees per month. The case does not end with the death of the individual who has subscribed, but the nominee or the spouse of the person receives compensation instead.

The criteria laid down by the govt. is unique, the subscriber of this scheme must not be a part of any other scheme such as provident funds paid or income taxpayer if they want to be liable under this part also.

Free School Meals 

As most of us are aware of the mid-day meal program launched in India, it is somewhat similar to that. The children of government schools are given free meals that are laid down by the authorities to be nutritious and healthy for the child’s body and mind. This program is also multidimensional. Some poor families send their children to school in the hope that they will have a full stomach of food there, which in turn results in the addition of knowledge and schooling for the children. These are laid down for the betterment of the future generation and to make the statement true that ‘padhega Bharat to hi age bodega Bharat’.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

This program is mainly followed in the United States, as is the basic definition of the program the physically challenged children and adults, and senior citizens are benefitted from the program.

This scheme was launched and replaced such federal schemes that gave similar benefits but had different criteria for eligibility. This updated the level of advantages and compensation given and proved to be a more justified scheme incorporated with proper terms and conditions as such only the innocent may have the fruit of advantage, and no other jackal in a cape can take benefits accordingly as an innocent.

Types Of Supplemental Security Income

Retirement Benefits

The persons aged 62 or above come under the specified criteria and receive retirement benefits. The amount that you will be paid will depend on your pre-retirement salary, along with the condition being that the person must have worked for the previous 10 years. It has no such specifications like this should be your only source of income, alongside you can use it as saving for your kids and generations or you can even use it to get yourself out of a drowning loan. These benefits give an advantage to many. Your spouse or even the ex-wife/husband may receive the benefits from the scheme.

Survivors’ Benefits 

The widows or the spouse of the deceased worker get the disability benefits, as such it can be a one-time benefit or it can be in terms of a short time. The deceased worker’s features like the salary paid to him when he used to work, years of experience, and most of the worker. In case of a one-time payment, the nominee of the worker is paid $255 as compensation. In the case of the LGBTQ community, the rights specified to them come under the social security program. One of the major factors contributing to the amount paid to the deceased’s family is the age of the worker at the time of death.

Disability Benefits

The physically challenged persons in any kind of way come under this umbrella. Those who are disabled and are not able to do a specific type for work specified hours are given compensation under this program. After the retirement age, you can also be liable to take SSDI, that is specifically for the disabled. The spouse of the disabled may also take advantage of it.

Supplemental Income Security Benefits

Those who are efficient but, due to the factors like old age and disability, are unable to work enough and are given SSI benefits. After receiving disability benefits, you can still be liable to receive this part also. Some factors that lie behind that is having some specified work history. The amount given as compensation will majorly depend on the source of income of the person and the place where they are leading.


The programs laid down by the government in prior states and countries benefit individuals from multiple issues and disabilities. These different areas are being covered under these two major schemes giving a healthy life for many to lead on. Still, some are taking unhealthy advantage of it. The authorities are finding the best way always to be the most effective and efficient in the management of their authorities and responsibilities. Compensation amounts are given to the old aged persons, disabled, retirees, deceased during their work, or others who are a boon to the family of that person also. It cannot take the position of the breadwinner of the family but can result as medicine for the injury. Always looking for improvement and better funding, the countries are moving ahead to make every individual’s life equal in a sort of manner.


  • Social security Wikipedia
  • Supplemental security income Wikipedia
  • Global payroll
  • https://www.asiabriefing.com/countryguide/india/human-resources-and-payroll/social-insurance
  • https://www.kli.re.kr/downloadBbsFile.do?atchmnflNo=10226
  • https://www.debt.org/retirement/social-security/
  • https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/4412



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"Difference Between Social Security and Supplemental Security Income(SSI)." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-social-security-and-supplemental-security-1097>.

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