Supplemental Security Income: Who Can Get It and How to Apply

If you have been denied disability benefits, you may be tempted to forget about dealing with the Social Security program altogether. However, there are other types of government assistance available to disabled Americans, even if you are have been denied Social Security disability.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

If you were told that you do not have enough work credits to receive disability under Social Security, you may want to consider applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This benefit has nothing to do with your work history—it is based solely on your financial need.

Who Can Get SSI?

Generally speaking, any disabled U.S. citizen who has less than $2,000 in assets (or couples who have less than $3,000 in assets) and extremely limited income will qualify for SSI. You may also qualify for benefits if:

  • You live in a public community residence that serves 16 or fewer people

  • You live in a public institution in order to receive educational or job training

  • You live in a publicly-funded homeless or emergency shelter

  • You live in a public or private institution where Medicaid pays more than half the cost of your care (your SSI benefit may be reduced)

Other Factors in SSI Determinations

Your eligibility for SSI depends both on your income and how much support you receive from others. If you live in a county rest home or another public institution that pays for your room or board, you usually cannot get SSI benefits.

You can complete an application for SSI by phone, at a Social Security branch office, or by filling out an online form at the Social Security website. If you are approved, your benefits will be paid monthly and the amount will depend on how much regular income your household earns.

The good news is that if you qualify for SSI, you will likely also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and other benefits that can help you cope with living costs for as long as you are unable to work. The bad news is that many people who apply for these benefits are denied on their first, second, or even third tries.

Do you want to learn more? Our disability attorneys are local to Omaha and can be reached at 402-933-5405. Connect with us on Facebook for more news, tips, and information you can use today.

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska