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What is Supplemental Security Income?

Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC April 19, 2023

Supplemental Security income (SSI) is a disability program providing monthly payment to adults and children with a disability or blindness based on specific financial limitations. This is also referred to as a Title XVI benefit. The difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that SSI administrative eligibility is based solely on your household income; whereas, SSDI is based on your accumulated work credits. Sometimes people are not eligible for SSDI, even though they are severely limited due to medical impairments. When you are medically disabled, but don’t have enough work credits for SSDI, and your household income falls below a certain threshold, SSI may be the answer you’ve been looking for. 

You May Be Wondering Who Is Eligible for SSI.

You may qualify for SSI if:

You are an adult who:

  • Is age 65 and older, or blind, or have a disability.

  • Have limited income (wages, pensions, etc.). 

  • Have limited resources (things you own).

  • Are US citizens, nationals of the US, and some noncitizens. 

You are a child who:

  • Is under the age of 18 and has physical and/or mental condition(s) that significantly impacts activities of daily living. These limitations must exist for 12 months or longer or may be expected to result in death, and

  • Lives in a household with limited income or resources

You May Be Asking, What Is a Specific Financial Limitation?

According to the Social Security Administration, an individual with less than $1,913 per month in wages or self-employment may be eligible for SSI. If an individual is receiving income from pensions, gifts, or other unearned sources, the dollar amount cannot exceed $934 per month in order to be eligible for SSI. And for both types of income for an individual filing for SSI, the resources (things that you own) cannot exceed $2000 total. 

If you are a couple filing for SSI, the earned income must be less than $2,827 per month and less than $1,391 per month of unearned income for the couple. Additionally, the resources for a couple cannot be more than $3,000 total.  

If you’ve determined that you satisfy the criteria to be eligible for SSI based on your severe medical impairments and your financial situation, it is time to proceed with the application for Supplemental Security Income. There are several ways to apply independently, including online, over the phone with a representative from Social Security, or in person at your local Social Security field office. However, the application process can be quite extensive and very time consuming, if you need assistance navigating the ins and outs of the application, please contact the attorneys at Wykoff and Sikes as they will be happy to help make this process as easy as possible for you!