YOU ASK:

Who qualifies for SSI (Supplemental Security Income)?

WE ANSWER:

Supplemental Security Income is, as the name suggests, aimed to supplement the income of those who don't have much of it. It is designed to give financial aid to people who otherwise cannot afford all of their daily living expenses. These include:

  • The elderly
  • The disabled
  • The blind
  • Wards of the state

These people do not need to provide a thorough work history. Nor do they need to "pay into" the program in order for them to be eligible for SSI benefits.

There are several factors that help determine whether one is eligible for Supplemental Security Income:

Age

Persons who are 65 years old and above may apply for this benefit. Those who are aged 18 to 65 need to show a disability that is acceptable to the Social Security department. Children (those below 18) can also receive benefits for as long as their parents, guardians or caregivers earn below a specified amount.

Nationality and Status

To receive SSI benefits, you must be a U.S. Citizen or a resident. There are some cases where people who have sought and granted asylum, Military personnel and aliens who have a disability may receive benefits under certain circumstances.

The person who is absent from the country for over 30 consecutive days may not be eligible for SSI benefits. Those who are charged with a felony and who already have warrants for their crimes, as well as those who violate their parole or probation, may not receive the benefits. Those who have been imprisoned may only become eligible only when they have finished serving their sentence.

Disabilities

There are qualifying impairments that are listed by the Social Security administration. This may be a physical disability, a mental disability or being legally blind.

The person must demonstrate that the disability being suffered has substantially impaired one's ability to work and receive a certain amount of income. When you apply, you should provide medical documents that will be reviewed by medical professionals to evaluate whether a person is indeed disabled.

Income

The income of the applicant, as well as the members of his household, is put in consideration when evaluating just how much a person stands to receive for his monthly SSI payments. Income is very important since you will not be eligible if you have an income higher than the maximum set by Social Security.

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