Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.

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Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources

SSI Defines Income: Income is the money you receive from working, Social Security benefits, and pensions. It can also include your food and shelter resources. The amount of income you can receive each month and still qualify for SSI depends partly on where you live. Social Security does not count the following as income:

If you are married, Social Security also includes part of your spouse’s income and resources when deciding whether you qualify for SSI.

If you are younger than 18, Social Security includes part of your parents’ income and resources.

If you are a sponsored noncitizen, Social Security may include your sponsor’s income and resources.

If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.

If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages you use to pay for items or services that help you work. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair do not count as income when Social Security decides whether you qualify for SSI.

If you are blind, Social Security does not count any wages you use for work expenses. For example, if you use wages to pay for transportation to and from work, the wages used to pay the transportation cost are not counted as income.

If you are disabled or blind, some of the income you use (or save) for training or to buy things you need to work may not count.

SSI Defines Resources: Resources are seen as the things you own. SSI looks at your real estate, bank accounts, cash, stock and bonds to determine whether you qualify. You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth no more than $2,000. A couple may be able to get SSI if their combined resources are worth no more than $3,000. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.

Social Security does not count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI. For example, the following does not count as resources: