How do you determine eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?


Quick Answer

Those eligible for Supplementary Security Income must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and U.S. citizens or resident aliens, reports the Social Security Administration. They must also meet the guidelines for limited resources and income, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

An eligible adult disability renders the applicant unable to perform substantial gainful activity, is anticipated to result in death or lasts continually for at least a year, according to the Social Security Administration. Eligible statutory blindness involves the better eye having an acute visual field limitation or visual acuity of 20/200 or less with corrective lenses. Non-citizens must be qualified aliens who are permanent residents, refugees, military personnel or veterans of the U.S. armed forces, or granted entry into the country under other circumstances under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as of 2015.

The income limit for eligibility for SSI benefits is the monthly Federal Benefit Rate of $733 for individuals or $1,100 for couples, as of 2015, states Nolo. Income for SSI eligibility includes working income, Social Security, and other benefits and compensations, money received from friends and relatives, and free room and board, as reported by the Social Security Administration. Countable resources include cash, bank accounts and other assets from financial institutions, real estate, vehicles and personal property. Assets that do not count as income or resources include income tax refunds, educational scholarships and grants, food stamps, cash or in-kind repayable loans, and needs-based assistance from state or local governments, reports Nolo.

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