How to Know if You Qualify for Supplemental Security Income

The supplemental security income (SSI) is a financial program by the federal government. SSI intends to provide guaranteed minimum income to individuals who have difficulty covering the necessary living expenses. SSI is monthly funds available to the elderly, blind, or disabled who have little assets and income.


Income and resources determine eligibility, besides establishing that the disability is severe to render the individual unable to attend to your duties for at least a year. The primary federal SSI payment is equal for all recipients and is mostly reduced by other income that an individual receives. Below are factors in determining if you qualify for the SSI program.

1. Categorical Requirements

The government assistance program usually limits eligibility to specific categories of people who often have difficulty providing for themselves. Under the supplemental security income program, an individual should be elderly, blind, or disabled to qualify for the payments. Aged refers to individuals that are aged 65 or older. Blind refers to persons of any age who have central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens. A disabled individual has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which results in the inability to do any gainful activity. The social security administration provides benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions meet disability standards.

2. Financial Requirements

In addition to the group mentioned above, an individual should have limited income and other financial resources. Income is anything you receive that you can use to meet your need for food and shelter. Under the SSI, an individual’s countable income and resources should be within a program’s statutory limits. A person may have income and resources and still be eligible for the program because there is disregard for some income and resources. Besides, the income and resources of some ineligible family members may be deemed available to meet the needs of the affected person. Such may be inclusive in your countable income and resources.

3. Residency Qualifications

To qualify for SSI, you must reside in the United States. The SSI program defines a national living in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It is vital to show the intent to continue living within the geographical limits.


Individuals are ineligible for SSI for the months in which they are not physically present in the United States. However, the physical presence requirement doesn’t apply to children of military personnel assigned permanent duty outside the United States. You may qualify for SSI if you are a student temporarily broad as part of an educational program.

4. Child Eligibility

The SSA must consider all options for a qualifying child. You will need to have critical medical documents ready to determine if your child qualifies for the SSI program. There is an assessment of functional limitations in areas of motor skills, cognition, and social skills. It is crucial to keep the medical and school records organized and provide sufficient information when applying for SSI. The professionals behind say that filing for supplemental security income for children with disabilities is a good thing to do. Any eligible child before the age of 18 should have eligibility redetermined using the rules for adults.

5. Citizenship Requirements

Besides the residency requirement, an individual must be a citizen of the United States or an eligible noncitizen. An eligible noncitizen is an alien who has been granted a qualifying legal status by the federal government. The SSI eligibility for noncitizens is limited to the refugees, asylees, and lawful permanent residents with significant past work history covered by social security. It is important to note that SSI is not available to aliens lawfully admitted to the United States on tourist visas. Also, a noncitizen must meet other requirements for SSI eligibility, including the limits on resources and income.

6. Felony

SSI suspends payments if a recipient goes to prison or jail. You are ineligible to receive SSI benefits for months in which you have an unsatisfied felony. The SSA holds your retroactive payments if you have a warrant of arrests for an escape from custody or flight escape after conviction for certain felonies. Besides, if you go to any correctional facility, you are not eligible to receive SSI for the period you are incarcerated. You will be required to prove to the SSA that you are no longer a prisoner to redetermine eligibility.

Supplemental security income is effective in reducing extreme poverty among the elderly and disabled. You have the right to appeal the disability determination process if you fail in the application for benefits at any point.


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