Supplemental Security Income (SSI): ensure financial help

Learn what Supplemental Security Income is and how it can provide you financial assistance! Read on and understand more!


by Sabrina Paes

04/04/2023 | Updated on 04/19/2023

Financial assistance for the disabled

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  illustration
SSI: ensure financial help. Source: Adobe Stock

If you’re living with a disability, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) should be at the top of your financial to-do list. It provides monthly cash!

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In this blog post, we’ll walk through everything you need about SSI eligibility and how to apply. Learn more below!

What is the Supplemental Security Income program?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program funded by U.S. Treasury general funds and administered by the Social Security Administration.

It exists outside of traditional Social Security taxes to ensure individuals care for those who cannot support themselves due to either age or disability.

Also, this program provides financial aid to adults aged 65 or older with limited income and comes, as well as other adults and children living with any type of disability.

Thus, the U.S. SSA administers this program to help those who need financial assistance for medical purposes.

So, to be eligible for benefits, an individual must meet the specific age and disability requirements outlined.

What benefits can you receive from the Supplemental Security Income program?

This program aims to add on other programs while assisting in the form of basic financial help. The maximum SSI amount changes yearly.

Still, in 2023 it increased from the third quarter of 2021 to the third quarter of 2022. After all, this results in a rate of $914 for an individual and $1,371 for a couple.

Some States may offer additional payments as a supplement to increase total SSI benefits depending on certain factors like income.

Thus, SSI offers individuals facing financial hardship a valuable boost of income each month.

Who qualifies for SSI benefits?

Female sitting on a yellow couch using laptop and internet conne
Who qualifies for Supplemental Security Income benefits? Find out! Source: Adobe Stock

This program, through the SSA, can provide adults and children with cash assistance if they meet the necessary criteria.

In this sense, eligible people must be U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens; adults must be 65 and older, blind, or have a disability.

Moreover, the individual must have limited income from wages, pensions, etc., have limited resources defined by what they own, and reside in the USA.

Still, for disabled children under 18 to be eligible for this program, other conditions are required.

Mainly, they have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits their daily activities.

What resources are considered for SSI?

SSI considers numerous factors to determine eligibility. This includes: Beyond cash, bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and U.S. savings bonds.

It considers life insurance, personal property, vehicles, etc. In this sense, SSI considers their own that can be converted into cash used for food or shelter as resources.

So, it is possible that a portion of the resources of a spouse, parent, and more. However, it is possible that too sponsor’s spouse could be a belonging.

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What are the requirements to apply?

SSI is a federal benefit program available to those who meet certain criteria. In this sense, the criteria include disabled, blind, or 65 years of age.

This benefit is also given to those with limited income and resources who are citizens, nationals, or lawfully admitted aliens in the U.S.

Moreover, an individual must live in one of the fifty states, with exemptions for children of military personnel.

Thus, SSI can provide peace of mind as it helps individuals cope with financial hardships due to disability and other factors.

What documents will you need to submit to apply for SSI?

To apply for this program, you must provide certain documents as part of your application. This may include:

  • Social Security card or number;
  • Proof of age;
  • Citizenship or noncitizen status record;
  • Proof of income and resources you possess;
  • Proof of where you live;
  • Account of all medical sources if you are filing as blind or disabled.

Also, the SSI requires that candidates provide evidence of their work history, if applicable.

Getting the required documents before applying helps to ensure a smooth process. So it can help applicants receive SSI benefits faster.

Is Supplemental Security Income effective for families?

Young business woman manager holding documents working in office with laptop.
Financial assistance for the disabled. Source: Adobe Stock

In an ideal world, the monthly amount paid to these families would be enough to sustain themselves and escape poverty. However, the reality is quite different.

Before any state supplementation, and without income deductions, SSI benefits are only three-fourths of the poverty line for a single person.

On top of that, in 2016, almost half of all beneficiaries were living below the federal poverty line despite the SSI benefits they received.

So this income alone may not lift people out of poverty. Sadly, there are also many eligible adults and disabled people affected by the 1996 eligibility restrictions.

How to apply for SSI?

Requesting an appointment is your first step. So, it can be online or over the phone, which takes less than five minutes.

Officers will explain the needed documents, answer any questions you may have, and guide you.

You can also complete certain steps online. However, read through all relevant information to gather the documents.

You may receive an additional contact from the company when you submit your information.

Also, it is important to remember that you must gather all the documents. In addition, the documents submitted must be the originals.

Up next

TANF is another benefit to help families. Find out what features are offered and who qualifies for this other benefit.

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About the author

Sabrina Paes

Content Writer, Copywriter, and Ghostwriter. Content marketing professional with 5 years of experience. Specialist in investment, finance, and technology niche. MBA in Marketing at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Content Writer by Rock Content, and University of California (UCDAVIS).

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