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Determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income

Social Security Disability benefits, while not as widely understood as Social Security retirement benefits, are still fairly familiar to most Los Angeles residents. Our readers know from previous posts here that there are a number of requirements that applicants have to meet in order to qualify for SSD benefits. The same is true for a lesser-known program that is run by the Social Security Administration - Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.

SSI benefits are available to those who have limited income and resources. However, it is not just a person's financial resources that are important in an application for SSI benefits. In order to qualify for these benefits, an applicant must be blind, disabled or 65 years old or older. Once one of these benchmarks is met, then an applicant's finances will be analyzed.

And, unlike the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits, an applicant for SSI benefits does not have to demonstrate a prior work history. For those who are familiar with previous posts here regarding SSD benefits, prior work history - which is calculated in the form of "work credits" - is a large part of qualifying for SSD benefits. That is not so for SSI benefits, which can be awarded to an applicant regardless of prior work history.

The qualifications for SSI benefits can be important to know for families with disabled children. Such children typically need specialized medical care, which can sap a family's financial resources. Families in Los Angeles who find themselves in this type of situation may be able to qualify for SSI benefits.

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

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