If you are suffering from a disability, but you have not paid enough money into the Social Security system, you may still be able to obtain benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
SSI benefits are based on need. If you are 65 years old or older, disabled or blind and a U.S. citizen or a legal alien, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine whether your income and assets indicate you need supplemental income.
However, like other Social Security benefit programs, SSI requires a lot of information from you.
You will have to document your current income, including:
- Social Security benefits and pensions
- Your real estate other than the house you live in
- Bank accounts
- Stocks and bonds.
The SSA will also consider a portion of your spouse’s income if you are married.
You qualify for SSI if you are single and your assets do not exceed $2,000 or, as a couple, if you and your spouse’s assets do not exceed $3,000.
The way to get the best results is to file a complete and accurate SSI benefits application from the start and to have knowledgeable legal help if you have to appeal a decision.