The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers several different benefits. The SSA collects Social Security taxes from workers and then uses that revenue to fund benefits for people with disabilities and those old enough to retire. Many people know the basics about Social Security retirement and disability benefits, but not Supplemental Security Income.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the most accessible benefit offered by the SSA. While retirement and full disability benefits are usually only available to those who have worked a full career, SSI is available for anyone who falls into one of three qualifying categories who meets other eligibility criteria.
What personal characteristics make someone eligible for SSI?
SSI is a program for those who cannot support themselves
When someone is unable to earn their own income or live without support, they may qualify for SSI, depending on their situation and finances.
Total disability is one reason that an individual might qualify for SSI benefits. Even children born with disabilities who have never worked can potentially receive SSI benefits due to total disability. SSI is also available for those who are legally blind. Someone does not need to be fully unable to see, but the requirements are still quite strict for people to qualify via visual impairment.
The third and final possible way someone can qualify is by being over the age of 65. There are strict income limitations that apply for SSI benefits, and even the income of parents can impact someone’s eligibility.
Those who need support may find that these benefits improve their financial circumstances. Learning about SSI benefits before you apply will increase your chances of getting the benefits you request.