Social Security Income (SSI)
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is administered through the Social Security Administration and provides monetary aid for persons over the age of 65, the legally blind, and the disabled. SSI is intended to help low-income individuals and their families over an extended period of time. Disabled or blind children may also qualify for benefits. To be eligible to receive SSI benefits, an individual must prove:
- That he or she is a senior citizen (65 years of age or older), blind, or disabled due to a physical or mental condition
- That he or she is a legal resident of the United States
- That he or she has an income below the limit in his or her state
- That he or she has applied for all other benefits, including Social Security benefits
- That he or she does not have an arrest warrant, has not violated parole, and has given accurate financial information
- That he or she has not left the United States for more than 30 days after applying
If the individual is not yet 65 years of age, her or she may also apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI benefits require the individual to also prove that he or she has worked for a certain number of years. To be considered for SSI benefits due to disability, the applicant must prove that he or she is unable to work. The Social Security Administration defines “disabled” as the “inability to engage in any SGA [significantly gainful employment] by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
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Legal aliens living in the United States may also be eligible for SSI benefits, including refugees, individuals granted asylum, and those who were Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence (LAPR). An individual who wants to apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits should do so after consult our New York City Social Security Income attorneys.