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|Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Understanding Supplemental Security Income
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SSI BENEFITS?
Anyone who is:
WHAT DOES "AGED" MEAN?
"Aged" means age 65 or older.
WHAT IS "BLINDNESS" FOR AN ADULT OR CHILD?
"Blindness" in Social Security disability programs is "statutory blindness," which means:
If you have a visual impairment that is not "blindness" as defined above you may still be eligible for SSI benefits on the basis of disability. See the definitions of disability for children and adults below.
WHAT DOES "DISABLED" MEAN FOR A CHILD?
An individual under age 18 is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:
If the individual is age 18 or older, the adult definition of disability explained below applies.
WHAT DOES "DISABLED" MEAN FOR AN ADULT?
An individual age 18 and older is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:
WHAT DOES "LIMITED INCOME" INCLUDE?
WHAT ARE "LIMITED RESOURCES"?
Resources are things you own such as:
The SSI limits for resources that we do count are:
CITIZEN / NON–CITIZEN STATUS
To get SSI benefits, you must be:
When May A Non–Citizen Be Eligible For SSI Benefits?
Beginning August 22, 1996, most non–citizens must meet two requirements to be eligible for SSI benefits:
A non–citizen must also meet all of the other requirements for SSI eligibility, including the limits on income, resources, etc.
Who is a "Qualified Alien?"
There are seven categories of non–citizens who are qualified aliens. You are a qualified alien if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says you are in one of these categories:
In addition, you can be a “deemed qualified alien” if, under certain circumstances, you, your child, or your parent has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty while in the United States.
Under What Conditions May a "Qualified Alien" be Eligible for SSI Benefits?
If you are in one of the seven qualified alien categories listed above, or have been determined to be a “deemed qualified alien” because you have been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty, you may be eligible for SSI benefits if you have limited income and resources and are aged, blind, or disabled and also meet one of the following conditions:
IMPORTANT:If you entered the United States for the first time on or after August 22, 1996, then you may not be eligible for SSI benefits for the first five years as LAPR, even if you have 40 qualifying quarters of work.
IMPORTANT:You may be eligible for SSI beyond the seven year period if you are in one of these categories, and you also meet one of the other conditions (1–4) above.
Exemption From the August 22, 1996, Law for Certain Non–Citizen Indians
Certain categories of non–citizens may be eligible for SSI benefits and are not subject to the August 22, 1996, law.
These categories include:
Additional Eligible Alien Category
You may be eligible for SSI benefits under certain circumstances if the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee ResettlementOffice of Refugee Resettlement (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/) determines that you meet the requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
WHAT IS RESIDENCY?
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR SSI BENEFITS?
Some examples of who is not eligible for SSI benefits include, but are not limited to:
SOMEONE WHO IS A FUGITIVE FELON
An individual is ineligible to receive SSI benefits for any month during which he or she has:
The Social Security Administration will continue to pay an individual's benefit if a court of competent jurisdiction has found the individual not guilty, dismissed the charges, vacated the warrant for arrest, or issued any similar exonerating order or taken similar exonerating action. The Social Security Administration also will continue to pay an individual's benefit if the individual was erroneously implicated in connection with the criminal offense by reason of identity fraud.
Also, the Social Security Administration may continue to pay an individual's benefit if the individual establishes that the offense underlying the warrant or imposition of the probation or parole (as well as the violation of probation or parole) was both nonviolent and not drug–related and there were mitigating circumstances for not satisfying the warrant.
SOMEONE WHO IS IN PRISON OR JAIL
If you are receiving SSI benefits, and you go to prison or jail, you are not eligible to receive SSI benefits for any full calendar month you are in prison or jail.
Please see our pamphlet, "What Prisoners Should Know About Social Security," or view it online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10133.html, if you want more information about how being in prison or jail affects your SSI benefits.
In most instances, you can apply for SSI benefits and Food Stamps several months before you expect to be released from prison or jail. See the SSI spotlight on the Prerelease Procedure.
SOMEONE WHO IS IN A PUBLIC INSTITUTION AND MEDICAID IS NOT PAYING 50% OR MORE OF THE EXPENSES
If you are in any institution for a whole month that is run by a Federal, State or local government you are not eligible for SSI for that month. If you expect to leave the institution, you may use the prerelease procedure described in the SSI spotlight on the Prerelease Procedure.
SOMEONE WHO GIVES AWAY RESOURCES
If you give away a resource or sell it for less than it is worth in order to reduce your resources below the SSI resource limit, you may be ineligible for SSI for up to 36 months.
SOMEONE WHO IS A NON–CITIZEN SSI RECIPIENT WHO FAILS TO MEET THE ALIEN STATUS REQUIREMENTS
SOMEONE WHO IS AN SSI BENEFICIARY WHO IS ABSENT FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR A FULL CALENDAR MONTH OR MORE THAN 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS
Except for certain students temporarily abroad for study purposes or a child of military parents stationed abroad, an individual is not eligible for SSI benefits for any month during all of which he has been outside the United States. Once an individual has been outside the United States for 30 consecutive days or longer, he must be present in the United States for 30 consecutive days to be eligible for SSI benefits.
|THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.