Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a federal government program that seeks to aid the aged, disabled, and other minority groups who have limited income-earning ability. SSI should, however, not be confused with SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) which is a program that gives benefits to adults who have paid FICA taxes over the course of their working lives. (Image Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)
There are certain eligibility requirements to participate in the Supplemental Security Income program including:
You qualify for the SSI program if you are considered aged. As far as the Supplemental Security Income program is concerned, an aged person is anyone over the age of 65.
You also qualify for the SSI program if you are blind. Blindness can mean several things in this regard. It could mean that you have a central visual acuity for lengths of 20/200 ft or less in your good eye. You will have to be using a corrective aid such as a lens to correct this sort of blindness. If the vision in your better eye does not extend for more than a 20-degree angle, you are considered blind and qualify for the program.
There are different definitions of blindness as it pertains to the Supplemental Security Income program. The differences are mainly defined by whether one is a child or an adult. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental disorder including a learning disability. The condition should have lasted or will continue to last for one year. The impairment can be able to result in death and there should be well-marked results of serious limitations. For adults, the definition is slightly different. However, the physical and mental disorder still holds.
Other definitions of disability that hold true for adults are that the impairment can be able to result in death and there should be well-marked results of serious limitations. The condition should also have lasted or will continue to last for one year. On the other hand, the disorder should result in the disability to perform a gainful activity on the victim.
The vast majority of those who qualify for the Supplemental Security Income are those that have limited income and assets. The program has a specific definition of what constitutes a limited income. The supplemental income limit is quite complex; the program will count the income as any wages you earn plus any income acquired from other benefit programs like Social Security. Generally speaking, the income limit for the SSI program is the Federal Benefit Rate which is $783 for an individual and @1175 for a couple every month. You should note that not all income is counted by the program so you may earn more than the FBR and still qualify for Supplemental Security Income.
Limited Resources or Assets
You qualify for the SSI program if you are deemed to have limited resources. As it pertains to the program, resources include anything you own such as cash, bank accounts, land, cars, insurance, and private property. Anything that can be converted into cash and used for food and shelter is also considered an asset. You qualify for the SSI program if you have total assets that are less than $2,000 for a single person or a child. For a couple, the limit is $3,000.
Your citizenship also affects whether you qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program or not. You must be a citizen or national of the United States to qualify for the program. However, non-citizens may also qualify for the program in certain circumstances. They must meet two requirements without fault.
First, they must be in a qualified alien category. Secondly, they must meet a condition that allows qualified aliens to get the program benefits. The conditions to be a qualified alien and the conditions that allow qualified aliens to receive SSI benefits are very complex. It is also a very long list with some technical terms. A lawyer will be very helpful in understanding them. However, you can also visit the Supplemental Security Income program website for more information on the matter. There are also other special eligibility requirements that you will find on the site.
As you can see, it takes one who is highly proficient in what the program entails to know if you qualify for the program or not. However, there is no substitute for doing your research. If you need help feel free to ask for it. Once you are sure that you are eligible, feel free to become a participating member of the SSI program.