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Photo of David Dopkin

SSI eligibility requirements don’t have to be a mystery

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2015 | Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

While many people have a good understanding of what it takes to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, they find themselves lacking a similar understanding when it comes to Supplemental Security Income benefits.

In an attempt to rectify this situation, our blog will be providing some background information on the basic qualifications that an adult must satisfy in order to secure SSI benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration, the SSI program is designed to provide much-needed financial assistance to those U.S. citizens who are “aged, blind or disabled,” and who have “limited income, and limited resources.”

While this first set of eligibility requirements may seem straightforward, it is actually rather detailed:

  • Aged: The potential recipient must be at least 65 years old.
  • Blind: The potential recipient must meet the SSA’s definition of “statutory blindness,” which can mean that either 1) their better eye has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less when a correcting lens is used or 2) their better eye has a visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of their visual field is no more than 20 degrees.
  • Disabled: The potential recipient must be at least 18 and suffer from a “medically determinable” mental or physical disability that has left them unable to perform substantial gainful activity and is expected to be fatal; Alternatively, the potential recipient’s mental or physical disability must either have lasted or be expected to last continuously for no less than 12 months.

In our next post, we’ll break down what the SSI eligibility requirements mean concerning the terms “limited income” and “limited resources.”

If you would like to learn more about SSI benefits in general or whether you would qualify, consider speaking with a legal professional who will take the time to answer your questions and explain the ins-and-outs of this complex legal area.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Understanding Supplemental Security Income eligibility requirements — 2014 Edition,” Accessed March 18, 2015