Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program designed to offer financial assistance to individuals with insufficient income and those who are differently abled, blind or aged 65 or older. This federal program aims to ensure that individuals with disabilities or seniors with little or no income can meet their basic needs for food, shelter and clothing.
SSI is a vital lifeline for many vulnerable individuals and families across the United States. To qualify for SSI, individuals, both adults and children, must meet specific criteria.
Qualifying criteria for SSI eligibility
Applicants must have little to no income to qualify for SSI. The program considers income from various sources, including:
- Social Security benefits
However, certain types of income, such as gifts and assistance from friends or family, may not count towards the income limit for SSI eligibility.
In addition to having limited income, SSI applicants must also have little to no resources. Resources include assets such as:
- Real estate
To qualify for SSI, individuals must have a disability or blindness or be aged 65 or older. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. For adults, the impairment must prevent the individual from performing work-related activities.
SSI benefits for adults
The program provides monthly cash payments for adults who qualify for SSI. This can help the recipient cover basic living expenses. The amount of the SSI benefit varies depending on factors such as:
- Living arrangements
- Marital status
In addition to cash assistance, SSI recipients may also qualify for Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals and families.
SSI benefits for children
Children with disabilities may also be eligible for SSI benefits. The benefits for children can help families cover the costs associated with caring for a child with a disability, including medical expenses, therapy and assistive devices. In addition to providing financial assistance, SSI benefits for children may also open up access to other programs and services designed to support families with disabled children.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) plays a crucial role in providing financial support to individuals with insufficient income and resources who are disabled, blind or aged 65 or older. Although most people associate SSI with monthly payments for adults, children can also be eligible for SSI benefits if they meet the program’s criteria.