Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

How your income and resources impact SSI eligibility

Our readers in Alabama may know that Supplemental Security Income is a benefit that is designed by the government to help some of the most financially disadvantaged individuals out there. However, what is lesser known about SSI is that there are strict eligibility guidelines that must be met to be approved to receive SSI. An applicant's income and financial resources could impact SSI eligibility.

The first part of qualifying for SSI may seem relatively straightforward: the applicant must be 65-years-old or older, blind or disabled. However, unlike Social Security Disability benefits, which are based on a person's work history, SSI can be received by those who do not have a significant work history. Instead, applicants for SSI must not exceed a certain threshold for income earned or available financial resources.

According to the Social Security Administration, a person's "income" includes all of the wages they earn, as well as many other financial streams, such as Social Security retirement benefits or pension payments. However, there is quite a bit that is not considered by the SSA when examining a person's income, including such help as "food stamps" and any type of energy assistance for a person's home. When it comes to "resources," the SSA will examine whether or not an applicant owns real estate for investment purposes, stocks, bonds or if the applicant has any bank accounts with positive balances.

Anyone in Alabama who is struggling with their finances and who is unable to work may need to get more information about their potential eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. However, our readers should keep in mind the strict requirements to be approved to receive these benefits and review their options.

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