Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two different programs to help disabled individuals support themselves: Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, because they are meant to serve different populations, the eligibility requirements for both of these programs vary significantly.
The Supplemental Security Income program is designed to assist disabled individuals who have live on limited resources. Unlike SSDI, it is unattached to any prior work requirements; simply being disabled and living on a low income is typically enough to become eligible for SSI. However, as simple as this may sound, it is important to understand the various criteria which must be met to receive this benefit in order to ensure that you have the financial assistance you need.
SSI Eligibility Criteria
According to the SSA’s criteria, eligibility for SSI benefits depends on several different factors, including:
- Disability – the individual has to have a medical condition which is recognized as a disability by the SSA.
- Limited income – the total earnings that an individual can have must be below a certain threshold.
- Limited resources – the total value of assets owned by the individual cannot be above a certain threshold.
- Citizenship or resident alien status – the individual applying for benefits must be either a current citizen or have legal status.
It is important to remember, as well, that because the cost of living is relatively higher in some states than others, with states such as New York representing a high-end of costs and states such as Tennessee representing a low-end, that the amount of benefits for which you may be eligible can be affected by where you reside.