Social Security

Students who have worked a full-time job in the past, but had to leave because of their disability, may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Program (FICA Tax). Benefits also may be received if one of the following is true:

  • The student is under 18 (disabled or nondisabled), and one or both parents are receiving Social Security benefits or are deceased (Child Benefits).
  • The student is a disabled student, over 18, who became disabled before the age of 22, and one or both parents are receiving Social Security benefits or are deceased (Disabled Adult/Child Benefits).

Students who feel that they may be eligible for any of the benefits listed above should apply through their local Social Security Office.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a federal program of financial assistance that is administered by the Social Security Administration. In order to be eligible for SSI, the student must meet two major requirements:

  • The student must have a mental or physical disability (e.g., deafness) that prevents him or her from working. and
  • The student must have little or no regular income or property of great value. The amount of income and property he or she can have depends upon his or her living arrangement and the state of which he or she is a resident.

Both of these eligibility requirements must be met by the student. Just having a disability is not enough; the student must be able to prove that the disability prevents him or her from working in a substantially gainful job. If he or she has worked for a period of time and voluntarily quit or has good work skills, the student may not be eligible for SSI, since his or her disability does not prevent him or her from working. Individuals who are over 18 and full-time students will have only their income (not their parents' income) counted for eligibility. When students are proven eligible, they will receive a monthly check to assist them in meeting their living expenses. They also may be eligible for medical assistance from the state in which they permanently reside. They can work and receive SSI at the same time, but their monthly amount will be reduced, depending on their job earnings. Students who feel that they may be eligible for SSI may apply through any local Social Security Office.