Although people think it is the same program, it is Social Security and the Additional social security (SSI, for its acronym in English) serve different populations and only the first is available for Puerto Rico.
The spokesperson for the social security administration in Puerto Rico, Víctor RodríguezHe noted that both benefits have different goals and requirements.
"Social security is a so-called employee insurance. It is what we pay while we work", Explained Rodriguez."If you are a salaried employee, remove it from the control. If you work alone, you must submit a federal declaration".
The federal official added:when you retire, you can receive social security even if you live almost anywhere in the world".
"Generally, it is paid for by a rich person and by someone with a moderate income or low income because it is based on what you have contributed while you worked, and in Puerto Rico it is the same as in the United States. The calculation is the same "he emphasized.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez indicated that SSI is another federal program that operates in a different way and is not available to residents of some American territories such as Puerto Rico according to the law.
SSI was established by a law signed in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, who federated various state welfare programs.
To qualify, the requirements must be 65 years old or older, blind or have another type of disability, as well as a limited income.
"It is social assistance on the basis of disability or economic need, as someone who is below the poverty level," Rodriguez said.
He added that "this advantage is not paid with what each of us pays to social security, the money that is withdrawn from the salaries of those who pay federal taxes."
The original law established that SSI was only for residents of all 50 states and Washington DC.
In 1976, an amendment to the law extended the SSI benefit to residents of the Northern Mariana Islands, an area without US territory.
"Under the law you have to report every time you move, because for the benefits you get, the resources that the person has, such as what kind of house or car you have," Rodríguez said.
"There are also changes depending on the state you live in because there are some where you get more SSI because those states contribute to the program," he added.
As for those who leave the continent, he pointed out that "the law also obliges people to inquire whether they will be more than 30 days away from places where SSI is permitted".
In recent days, SSI received more attention in Puerto Rico after a decision given by Federal Judge Gustavo Gelpi on Monday.
He judged that the citizen José Luis Madero Vaello could keep the $ 28,000 he had received in SSI episodes after he moved from New York to Loíza in 2013. The American government had demanded that he return the money.
Gelpi's decision was accompanied by an opinion in which the exclusion of Puerto Rico from SSI was cataloged as a violation of constitutional rights to a fair trial and equal protection of the laws.