If you’re unable to qualify for Social Security Disability and need further income support, one option you may have is Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. SSI is a federal program that is funded through tax revenue. It’s designed to help those living with disabilities receive financial support when they don’t qualify for Social Security Disability.
Supplemental Security Income covers people who have a limited income and who are elderly, blind and/or disabled. There are specific qualifications you have to meet to obtain SSI.
Which qualifications do you need to meet to seek SSI?
To apply for SSI, you should show that you:
- Are blind
- Have a disability
- Are 65 years of age or older
- Have limited resources
- Have a limited income
- Are living in the United States or a territory of the U.S.
- Are a U.S. citizen or national
- Fall into a specifically qualified category of non-citizens
- Won’t be out of the country for 30 days or longer
- Aren’t confined to an institution with your care being paid for by the government
- Apply for any payments or cash benefits you could be eligible for
- Give the Social Security Administration permission to request financial information about your accounts and history
How limited does your income have to be to qualify for SSI?
To qualify for SSI, you need to show that you earn under $2,000 as an individual or under $3,000 as a couple. Not all resources are counted toward SSI, but it’s a good idea to speak with your attorney about your personal holdings, like cash or vehicles, before you apply. Some resources may reduce the amount of SSI that you would qualify for.
Can anyone who is over 65, blind or disabled qualify?
No. There are some people who will not be able to seek SSI, such as those in prison or jail, those with unsatisfied felony or arrest warrants, people who give away their resources to reduce them to below the SSI limit or those in public institutions. There is an exception for those living in homeless or publicly operated community residences.
Getting SSI can be complicated. Fortunately, there is help available, so you can learn more about your legal options.