The Social Security Administration helps people who are struggling financial or have special needs by providing them with Supplemental Security Income. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen, a national, or a qualifying legal resident.
Additionally, you must live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands to qualify for benefits. SSI benefits are distributed to qualifying applicants who have a low income and meet certain criteria including:
- People are 65 years of age or older.
- People with severe vision impairments including, but not limited to, blindness. Typically, your central acuity must be 20/200 or less with corrective lenses or you must have a field limitation no greater than 20 percent.
- People living with a disability. This can include physical or mental disabilities that result in severe limitations that will last longer than a year or death. The disability must also be preventing adults from earning an income.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen, a national, or a qualifying legal resident. Additionally, you must live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands to qualify for benefits.
SSI benefits are different than Social Security Disability benefits, which provides eligible beneficiaries with monthly payments if they are no longer able to work. Applicants for the SSDI will not be subject to strict resource requirements like with the SSI program.
To be eligible for benefits from the SSI office, you are required to have earned a minimum amount of work credits for your age. You will be insured once you have accumulated a total of 40 work credits.
In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for SSI disability benefits, even if you have not accumulated the minimum 40 work credits. When you are between 31 and 60 years old, you may be eligible for SSI disability benefits with only 20 work credits if you earned them 10 years prior to your disability.
Note: You will still be required to earn 40 work credits to receive Social Security Retirement benefits.
Another advantage of being enrolled in the SSDI program is that you will automatically be enrolled in the Medicare program after 25 total months of receiving benefits. Otherwise, you have the option to apply for Medicare during your initial enrollment period when you turn 65 years of age.
SSI and SSDI are not the only benefits offered by the Social Security Administration. There are also healthcare programs available for people who receive benefits from the SSA. Continue reading to learn how to apply for SSI, SSDI, or other benefits from the Social Security Administration.