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Who qualifies for SSI benefits?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2020 | Social Security Disability

Some people who have a disability may qualify for Supplemental Security insurance benefits. The SSI program is also open to qualifying seniors and low-income individuals.

If you struggle to make ends meet and cannot work, explore the eligibility requirements for SSI.

Requirements for SSI

To qualify for the SSI program, you must either be age 65 or older, be legally blind, or have a disability. You must also:

  • Live in the United States
  • Have limited assets
  • Have limited income
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or qualifying alien
  • Submit financial records
  • Take advantage of other programs for which you are eligible, such as Social Security benefits and employment pensions
  • Live outside a government institution like a prison or hospital

Income limits

The Social Security Administration calculates income by adding the value of free housing or food you receive, money you earn through a job, and money you receive from sources such as veteran benefits, Social Security benefits, pension funds, unemployment insurance, or workers’ compensation payments. The agency will compare your total income to the allowable limit for SSI benefits. For 2020, the income limit is $783 a month for a single person or $1,175 a month for a married couple.

Resource limits

When reviewing your SSI application, the SSA will also consider your existing resources. The agency will add the value of the things you own, including but not limited to life insurance policies, personal property, vehicles, land, real estate, savings bonds, investments, bank accounts and cash. Your resources must equal less than $2,000 in value to qualify for SSI. If you are applying with your spouse, the limit is $3,000.

Most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for Medicaid and for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Taking advantage of these benefits can help you maintain financial independence and self-support even if you become disabled or reach age 65 and can no longer work.


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