What Is SSI Disability?


Quick Answer

Supplemental Security Income is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration that provides benefits for disabled, blind and elderly people based on financial need. To be eligible for SSI benefits, disabled individuals must prove they have limited income and resources.

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Full Answer

Disabilities that qualify adults age 18 and over for SSI benefits include physical or mental impairments that prevent substantial gainful activity and are likely to result in death or last for at least 12 months continuously. Eligible children under 18 must have disabilities that obviously limit function and are long-term or expected to result in death. Additionally, eligible individuals must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens who do not leave the country for over 30 days consecutively.

Income limits for SSI eligibility are $733 per month for singles and $1,100 for couples as of 2015. Countable income for SSI assessment includes employment compensation, Social Security benefits, unemployment or worker's compensation benefits, gifts of shelter and food, and gifts from relatives and friends. Income that does not count towards SSI assessment includes food stamps, income tax refunds, state and local government assistance, scholarships and grants for educational expenses, and repayable loans. Countable resources include cash, bank accounts, land, vehicles and other personal property convertible into cash for shelter or food.

Individuals apply for SSI benefits by phone or in person at a Social Security office after making an appointment. The Social Security Administration helps applicants fill out forms, provide documentation and arrange medical examinations to show proof of disability.

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