Who can qualify for SSI benefits?

Supplemental security income, or SSI, provides payments from the Social Security Administration for those who qualify. You may be eligible if you have a disability, are blind or are older than age 65. You must also show limited financial resources and income. 

Learn more about the requirements to qualify for SSI. 

General eligibility

If you are younger than age 65, you must be either blind or disabled to qualify for SSI. SSA defines blindness as visual field limitation to 20 degrees or less than 20/200 vision with correction in the better eye. 

The SSA will consider you disabled if you are an adult who has a permanent mental or physical impairment that prevents you from supporting yourself with a job. Children younger than 18 can receive SSI for disability if they have severe physical or mental limitations that will likely be permanent. 

Financial eligibility

The SSA will also review information about your income and the property you own. Income includes money from a job, government benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, family members or friends, including free shelter or food you receive. 

Income limits for SSI vary by state. If you live in Ohio, you must earn less than $783 a month as a single person or $1,175 a month if applying with your spouse. Lower income limits apply if you also receive housing or food assistance. 

For the purposes of your application, resources include life insurance policies, vehicles, land, real estate, bank accounts, investments and cash. You must report anything you own of value when you apply for SSI. The current SSA resource limits are $2,000 for a single person and $3,000 for a couple applying together. 

In addition to your age, health status, income and assets, the SSA will determine whether you hold qualifying citizenship and residency status. For SSI, you must be a United States citizen, alien or qualifying national. You must also reside permanently within the United States.