Supplemental Security Income is a type of benefit that the Social Security Administration pays under specific circumstances. It is a seperate program from Social Security Disability. If you want to know if you qualify, sometimes the only way to be sure is to go through the application process.
The SSA reviews applications on a case-by-case basis, but there are indications that you could be eligible. In fact, you could still be eligible even if the SSA denied your application.
The three things SSI covers
As explained on the SSA website, there are three major categories of people that could qualify for SSI. You might be able to collect these benefits if you are a member of at least one of the following groups:
- Adults and children with disabilities
- Blind adults and children
- People 65 years old, or older
Obviously, these are relatively broad categories. You might be surprised, based on this alone, that not many people collect SSI.
The other factors: income and resources
The main reason that relatively few people qualify for SSI is that there are relatively stringent economic and resource-based requirements. You might have trouble collecting these benefits if you have a relatively stable income or other financial means.
The main purpose of this program would be to give you the security you need to avoid poverty. SSA resources are relatively limited, despite the fact that basically every American taxpayer contributes to it. Officials running the program but want to make sure that you truly need the benefits before awarding them.
This conservative approach is one of the reasons that your application might receive a denial, even if you really do deserve SSI. There could be an opportunity to restate your case, add more information or correct errors on your application, converting the denial into an approval.