Who Qualifies for SSI?


Quick Answer

As of 2014, a person is eligible for Supplemental Security Income if he is a U.S. citizen or in a certain alien category and has limited income and resources. In addition, he must be older than 65, blind or disabled.

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Full Answer

An SSI applicant must permit the U.S. Social Security Administration to contact his financial institutions and request financial records. The SSA factors into SSI calculations the applicant's resources, include anything that could be used or converted to cash, such as land, vehicles, bank accounts and stocks. The resource limit to qualify for SSI is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Money earned through employment and other sources, such as workers compensation or money from family members, is considered income.

The SSA defines blindness as corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, or the widest diameter of the visual field being no greater than 20 degrees. A child or adult is considered disabled when death is an expected result of his condition or the condition is expected to last for at least 12 months continuously. A child is also considered disabled if his condition severely limits him. An adult is considered disabled if his condition precludes him from gainful activity. The SSA offers a Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool that determines eligibility for SSI and other benefits.

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