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Thread: SSI benefits aren’t Social Security

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    SSI benefits aren’t Social Security

    Social Security and You: SSI benefits aren’t Social Security


    • Jan 20, 2017 Updated Jan 20, 2017
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    Q: You’ve written in past columns that the SSI program is not a Social Security benefit. But my sister is getting SSI. And when she gets letters about her payments, they come from the Social Security office. So how can you say SSI has nothing to do with Social Security?

    A: To answer your question, let me give you a little history lesson. Back before 1973, each state, and sometimes even each county, had its own welfare program for low-income elderly and disabled people. Because there were literally hundreds of such programs around the country, there were wildly different eligibility factors and payment levels. It was not uncommon for an indigent senior citizen in one place to be denied welfare benefits, while just over the county or state line, someone who was better off financially was able to qualify for monthly checks from his or her local welfare office.

    Congress thought this was unfair. So in 1973, it decided to nationalize the welfare programs for poor folks over age 65 and for people with disabilities who were down on their luck. There would be one set of eligibility rules that would apply to everyone no matter where they lived. There would also be one standard federal payment level — although they did include provisions that would allow states to add a few bucks to the federal payment if the state wanted to be a little more generous.


    Then Congress had to figure out who would run the new federal welfare program. They decided the Social Security Administration was ideally suited for the task. SSA already had a network of field offices around the country. And there was more than a little bit of overlap in the beneficiary pool for both programs. (In other words, Congress figured that a lot of the poorer folks getting Social Security benefits might qualify for some extra help from the new program.)

    Congress also had to figure out what to call the new federal welfare program. And they came up with the name “Supplemental Security Income.” On the one hand, it was a good name, because the program did just what its moniker implied: it “supplemented” someone’s “income” up to various levels in order to provide them with some form of financial “security.”

    But on the other hand, it was a poor choice for a name because everyone assumed, especially given the fact that the Social Security Administration ran the program, that it was just a new kind of Social Security benefit.

    After all, Supplemental Security Income, managed by the Social Security Administration, sure does sound like some kind of supplemental Social Security benefit.

    So here we are, almost a half-century later, and people are still confused. If my emails are any indication, I will bet that at least three-fourths of the people in this country think that SSI is a Social Security benefit.

    So let me repeat for maybe the one-thousandth time in this column: Supplemental Security Income is a federal welfare program that just happens to be managed by the Social Security Administration. It is NOT a Social Security benefit and it is NOT funded by Social Security taxes. The money to pay the benefits comes out of the government’s general funds. And SSA is even reimbursed from the general funds for the administrative time it takes to run the SSI program.


    And to reiterate this point, SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It does NOT stand for Social Security Income. Every single day, I get emails from readers who tell me, “I am getting SSI,” when they really mean they are getting Social Security.

    http://tucson.com/business/social-se...51e62f592.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    And just where do they get the money for the governments "General Fund"? They have been "borrowing" from the Social Security Fund for decades to pay for other things that they never should have...with NO intention of paying it back. It has become the "Slush Fund" for the corrupt government politicians.

    Obama took "Funds" from the VA or wherever he could put his slimy hands into...to pay for Illegal Aliens.

    Just like we pay a "Gas Tax" that does not pay for our roads or bridges. How many "Other Funds" have they fleeced the American Taxpayer over on??

    I hope Trump has a "FUND" investigation and stops the waste, fraud and abuse of our money.
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    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    If the GOP wants to reform entitlements the SSI program is one thing they could look at. Child recipients who are never re-qualified; legal immigrants who manage to meet the residency requirement, although these were made more stringent in the 1996 reforms.

    Piecemeal entitlement reform would be difficult and a lengthy process; but sweeping entitlement reform would be sure death for the GOP.
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    What some people forget or don't think about or perhaps even understand is we can't do anything with "entitlements", such as SSI, WIC, SCHIP, Medicaid, Food Stamps ACF, Free School Lunch, low-income housing and I'm sure a dozen other programs I'm not familiar with, UNTIL we bring our jobs back home, deport illegal aliens, and improve wages and earnings for people now on those welfare and public assistnce programs. We have to stop illegal immigration, redo our trade deals, cut general revenue taxes, and other things, to put American back to work and wages rise. After that is done, THEN we can look at entitlement funding and find ways to cut it without jeopardizing people's lives.
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    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
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    We can pass a law for Employment Verification. We can go through the Welfare and entitlement rolls and kick off all the illegal aliens for starters. We can go through SSI and kick off all the illegal aliens, drug addicts and others not entitled to it. That would save the country billions.
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    Oh yes, definitely we can and should do that!! We need to kick illegal aliens off of every program they're signed up for including food stamps, free school lunch, low-income housing (this should only be for citizens), WIC, Medicaid, ACF (American Children and Families), and all the rest of them including colleges, tuition, housing, scholarships, grants, etc. that in anyway is attached to federal funding or federal 501 C 3 tax exemption. I don't guess we can at the federal level force states to cut off state and local funding for them, although it seems we should since it's clearly aiding and abetting and harboring, but we can hold back every dime of federal assistance, matching funds, participation formulas, federal tax-exempt money, and so forth, and we should and must do it, on Day 3 or 4 of this administration.

    Time for Action. Big time. Ooops, I mean, BIG LEAGUE!!

    Just GET R DONE, Mr. President!! And do it FAST!!

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    http://archive.boston.com/news/healt...s/New_Welfare/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/us/31elder.html

    http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/...80140100178730
    The Other Welfare offers the first comprehensive history of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), from its origins as part of President Nixon's daring social reform efforts to its pivotal role in the politics of the Clinton administration. Enacted into law in 1972, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) marked the culmination of liberal social and economic policies that began during the New Deal. The new program provided cash benefits to needy elderly, blind, and disabled individuals. Because of the complex character of SSI—marking both the high tide of the Great Society and the beginning of the retrenchment of the welfare state—it provides the perfect subject for assessing the development of the American state in the late twentieth century.
    SSI was launched with the hope of freeing welfare programs from social and political stigma; it instead became a source of controversy almost from its very start. Intended as a program that paid uniform benefits across the nation, it ended up replicating many of the state-by-state differences that characterized the American welfare state. Begun as a program intended to provide income for the elderly, SSI evolved into a program that served people with disabilities, becoming a primary source of financial aid for the de-institutionalized mentally ill and a principal support for children with disabilities .
    Written by a leading historian of America's welfare state and the former chief historian of the Social Security Administration, The Other Welfare illuminates the course of modern social policy. Using documents previously unavailable to researchers, the authors delve into SSI’s transformation from the idealistic intentions of its founders to the realities of its performance in America’s highly splintered political system. In telling this important and overlooked history, this book alters the conventional wisdom about the development of American social welfare policy.
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
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