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The basics of Supplemental Security Income for disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an option for disabled, aged and blind individuals who are unable to work to consider. Unlike Social Security Disability, eligibility for which is based on work history, SSI claims are made by disabled individuals and others who qualify who have limited income and resources. In addition to meeting the Social Security Administration's (SSA) requirements for income and need, individuals applying for Supplemental Security Income based on disability must meet the SSA's requirements for disability.

Requirements for disability include that the disabled individual suffers from a physical or mental medical condition that creates severe functional limitations that is expected to last for a period of 12 months or longer or result in death. To determine that the applicant has limited income, the SSA looks at income the applicant earns from work, a variety of other sources or free food and shelter they receive. To determine that the applicant has limited resources, the SSA looks at any cash; bank accounts, stocks or U.S. savings bonds; land; vehicles; personal property; life insurance; and other assets that could be used to obtain food and shelter.

Some resources are immediately not counted by the SSA, including $2,000 for an individual or child and $3,000 for a couple. Supplemental Security Income is designed to help disabled individuals who are in need and suffer from a disability that prevents them from working to support themselves and their families. The application process for SSI benefits can seem complex but once the applicant understands the process and eligibility requirements to qualify, it can seem less so.

Supplemental Security Income benefits are oftentimes badly-needed benefits for disabled individuals to obtain for daily living costs. As a result, it is important for them to understand the application process and how to place themselves in the best position possible to obtain benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS," Accessed March 19, 2017

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