Supplemental Security Income: what are the requirements?

In our last post we discussed different exclusions that may work to your advantage in terms of calculating your countable income for Supplemental Security Income. One of the main qualifiers for SSI is that the individual must have limited resources.

Resources are things that you own such as life insurance, bank accounts, cash, savings bonds, land, vehicles, personal property or anything that could be converted into cash and used for shelter and food. The limit for these resources is $2,000 for a child or an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Basically, an individual needs to have limited income and resources and be a U.S. citizen or national, or in a specific category of aliens.

The other important qualifier for receiving benefits is that you have to be either blind, over 65 (aged), or disabled. When proving disability, SSI considers the same standards as the Social Security Disability benefits plan does to determine qualification.

To top it off, in order to qualify for SSI, an individual must not be absent from the country for 30 days or more, must not be confined to a government-funded institution (such as prison), and must be a resident of the United States, among other requirements.

The other requirements may have to do with the specific aspects of your case. For example, if you are blind, your vision must be 20/200 or less in the better eye when using a corrective lens or you must have a visual field limitation.

With all of these requirements, it can naturally be very overwhelming. Many individuals seek out the help of an attorney to guide them through the process.