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SSI: Eligibility Requirements

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The idea behind Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is to provide an income to people who are "disabled", blind, over age 65 or who live in a public institution who are supposed to be broke. As you will see, people don't have to actually be broke.

To qualify as "disabled", it is only necessary to have a health condition which fits within Social Security's definition of disabled.

With respect to income, basically you cannot be eligible for SSI in any month in which your "countable" income exceeds the amount of the SSI benefit you would receive. At least one half of earned income isn't counted for purposes of determining income for eligibility purposes.

There are also special rules about what resources are counted and which resources are not counted. For example, the value of your residence, no matter how much it's worth, isn't counted. There are also "deemed" resources, such as assets owned by a spouse with whom you live.

It is possible to transfer assets to qualify for SSI, though a transfer could subject you to a penalty.

You can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits as well as SSI.

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