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The basics of Supplemental Security Income

This blog recently discussed health benefits disabled individuals may qualify for through Medicaid which is sometimes closely linked to Supplemental Security Income. Supplemental Security Income benefits are an important resource that disabled individuals should be aware of and familiar with how to apply for. Supplemental Security Income is for adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.

SSI is available to help disabled individuals, as well as older individuals over the age of 65 and the blind, who have limited or no income and is designed to provide for their basic needs including food, shelter and clothing. Children can also be eligible to receive SSI benefits. SSI benefits differ from Social Security disability insurance benefits because applicants for SSI benefits are not required to have work history to qualify for benefits because funding for SSI benefits differs from funding for Social Security disability benefits.

To be considered disabled for SSI purposes, adults must have a medical physical or mental condition that results in the individual's inability to perform substantially gainful activity and that is expected to last for a year or more or result in death. Certain medical conditions are included on the Compassionate Allowances list and may result in quicker application processing. The Social Security Administration considers specific sources of income and resources to determine if the applicant is of limited income and limited resources.

When applying for SSI benefits, and demonstrating a qualifying physical or mental condition, it can be helpful to be familiar with what the SSA looks at and how to qualify. Delays in the application process can have a significant impact on disabled applicants so understanding the application process as much as possible in advance, and during the process, can be useful for applicants.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits," Accessed April 30, 2016

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