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How can I qualify for Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be a Social Security option that disabled individuals are not as familiar with as other options. Disabled individuals who are familiar with disability options may wonder what there is to know about SSI benefits. SSI benefits are for disabled individuals with limited income and resources. For individuals who are disabled, over 65 or blind, SSI benefits may be a viable option to consider, especially if they lack the necessary work history to qualify to receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

It is important to note that the same individual may qualify for different Social Security Administration (SSA) programs and benefits may overlap. As noted, SSI benefits do not require work history as SSD benefits do. Disabled individuals receiving SSI benefits may also receive Medicaid which can provide medical assistance for medical costs such doctor bills, prescription drugs, hospital costs and other healthcare costs. Determining eligibility for both programs can include evaluation of the same financial criteria which includes income and resources.

To qualify for SSI benefits, the applicant must meet income and financial resources tests. The financial resources limit for individuals is $2,000 but a number of exemptions are considered in the calculation such as a home, vehicle and household and personal goods. There are a number of exemptions that applicants should be thoroughly familiar with. The disclosure of income and expenses is part of the process, similar to providing medical records to establish a medical condition or disability. Based on their disability, need and resources, disabled applicants may qualify for SSI benefits that may be helpful for them.

In any circumstance, disabled individuals should be familiar with different disability options, including SSI benefits, and know what they may qualify for, how to qualify and how to apply. The process may seem complex at first but with proper understanding, disabled individuals can successfully seek the benefits they need.

Source: The Motley Fool, "What Is Supplemental Security Income?" June 24, 2016

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