How to Qualify for Supplemental Security Income
Every month, 61 million Americans collect Social Security benefits.
There are two main Social Security benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is intended for people with disabilities and people over the age of 65 who have low income and limited assets.
SSI can help these individuals pay for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. If you qualify for supplemental security income, you should apply right away. Keep reading to learn more about SSI qualification and how to start your application.
Supplemental Security Income for Disabilities
If you’re applying for SSI due to a disability, you must demonstrate that you’re completely disabled. Completely disabled means that you’re unable to perform work or have any substantial gainful activity.
Along with your disability, you’ll need to demonstrate that you meet the income and resources requirements. Specifically, you need to earn less than $750 per month and you cannot own more than $2,000 in resources.
If you’re married, the income and resources SSI qualification changes. The income threshold is $1,200 for the household and you cannot own more than $3,000.
Some noncitizens may qualify, but in most cases, you’ll have to be a US citizen or national and reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
Supplemental Security Income for Under 18 or Over 65
If you’re over the age of 65 and you do not meet the definition of total disability, you may still qualify for SSI. In order to qualify, you’ll need to meet the income and resources requirements described above.
People under the age of 18 may also qualify for SSI. In these cases, the Social Security Agency (SSA) will evaluate the household income of the working adults in the home.
Applicants over the age of 65 and those under the age of 18 also have to meet the citizenship and residence requirements detailed above.
Applying For SSI
If you find out that you have a disability that’s listed in the SSA’s Disability Evaluation Under Social Security guidelines (also known as the Blue Book) and it’s expected to last over a year or end in death, then you should apply for SSI right away. You can apply by visiting your local SSA office or by filing an application by mail or online.
Many people are denied SSI because they don’t fill out the forms with enough information. Be sure to include any and all evidence of your disability in your application.
That includes a medical report from your primary physician and information about your treatment. Also include details about improvements or side effects you’re experiencing.
An evaluator from the SSA will consult the Blue Book to determine if your disability qualifies for SSI. If you need help filing your application or you’re denied for any reason, view this information.
More on Your Health
Supplemental security income is a federal benefits program intended for the disabled and people over 65 who have limited income and resources. These payments help these individuals meet their basic needs in terms of clothing, shelter, and food.
You may not even have known you qualified for SSI until now. We bet there’s more about your health you don’t know. In that case, be sure to check out our health section regularly for the latest on what keeps your body and mind well.
Evidence to Prove SSI Claim
Your application should include all evidence of your medical condition dating back to the initial diagnosis. You should include a medical report from your physician outlining the diagnosis, including all blood and lab tests, diagnostic imaging results (including x-rays, CT scans, MRIs or any other imaging tests), treatment plan and medications prescribed.
You should include details about your treatment plan and whether your condition is showing any signs of improvement, or if you’re suffering from any side effects as a result of the treatment.
Include the names and contact information of all medical personnel who have participated in your care in case the SSA has any follow-up questions. You will be asked to sign a release form to provide your consent for the SSA to contact your doctors if they need more information.
Many claims are denied because the applicant is unable to provide enough supporting information of a condition. You can use the Blue Book as a guide to determine what information the SSA will look at to evaluate your claim, and use that as a checklist to make sure you have all of the information they need.