Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Who is eligible for SSI Disability?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a disability program administered by the Social Security Administration, which is based upon need. Individuals who have not worked at all, or have not worked enough to qualify for Social Security disability, or have a small Social Security disability benefit amount may qualify for SSI, on the basis of need.

Of course, like many need-based programs, SSI has income and resource limitations. If you are under the monthly earned income and asset limits established by the Social Security Administration, then you may be able to file for disability under the Supplemental Security income disability program, a.k.a. SSI.

What are the income limits for SSI?

They can generally be classified in two separate ways: household or family income, and one's personal earned income. For SSI, as well as SSD, an individal must not be earning more than the current earned income limit, which is known as SGA, or substantial gainful activity.

The SGA limit is best thought of as an earnings cutoff limit. It is subject to annual change and to see the current limit, you may wish to visit this page: How much can you earn and still receive disability?.

The second type of income that may affect one's non-medical eligibility for SSI benefits is any income brought into the household by the applicant's spouse. Since SSI is a need-based program, a spouse's income may be partially counted, or "deemed", toward the total countable income of an SSI applicant. Whether or not a spouse's income may make an SSI applicant ineligible under the non-medical criteria can be determined by the social security office where the disability application is being filed.

What are the asset limits for an SSI applicant?

There is a limit of having $2000 in countable assets for a single person and a limit of $3000 in total countable assets for an SSI applicant if they are married. Countable assets generally include any real property (homes) other than one's residence and any vehicles other than one's primary transportation. Liquid assets such as money in bank accounts and the surrender value of insurance policies are generally considered to be among countable assets.

SSI disability is also available for children whose parents meet the income and resource limits. Children whose parent's income and assets (i.e. resources) do not exceed the specified limits will be granted monthly SSI benefits provided that they are determined to be disabled, either by a disability examiner or by a federal judge at a disability hearing (for information on the eligibility of children: How to apply for social security disability benefits for children ).

How difficult is it to win SSI benefits if you are an adult or child? No more difficult than it would be to win benefits under the social security disability program. As was stated, the requirements are identical for both programs.

To learn more about the process of determining eligibility for either SSD or SSI disability benefits, you may wish to visit one of these pages:

1) How does Social Security Decide if I am Disabled?

2) Proving Functional Limitations and why this is Important on a Disability Case.

One of the primary differences between SSD and SSI are that individuals who are approved for social security disability are granted medicare benefits while individuals who are approved for SSI are granted medicaid.

Also, SSI benefits are capped, meaning that there is a maximum amount that an individual can receive and this amount is standardized for all recipients. SSD benefits, on the other hand, are based entirely on a claimant's past earning's record.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who is eligible for SSI Disability?
Disability Criteria - Eligibility For Social Security and SSI Disability
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
Can you apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Inability to Work and Eligibility for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
If You Are Currently Working Are You Eligible To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Will Being A Veteran Affect Your Eligibility And Chances For Social Security Disability?
Are SSD and SSI disability cases decided the same way in terms of Eligibility?
Is the Medical Criteria to Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits hard?
Criteria for how Social Security Disability is Awarded
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria