What is Supplemental Security Income and can I qualify?

If you're living with a disability, you may qualify for a variety of benefits. One of those is Supplemental Security Income.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income is an income you can qualify for if you have a disability or are over the age of 65. Those who are blind, disabled or 65 or older must have limited resources and income, be a U.S. citizen or national, be a resident of one of the 50 states, Northern Mariana Islands or Washington, D.C., and not be out of the country for 30 consecutive days or longer to qualify. The individual must also not be confined to an institution at the government's expense. Those seeking SSI should apply for any other cash benefits they may be entitled to at the same time or before applying for SSI.

What is the administration's definition of blindness?

To be considered blind, you must have a visual acuity level of 20/200 or less in the better eye when glasses or corrective lenses are used. You may also be considered to be blind if you have visual field limitation in the better eye if the visual field is no more than 20 degrees.

My eyesight is impaired, but I'm not blind; can I still qualify for SSI?

Even if you don't qualify based on being blind, those with significant sight impairment may be able to qualify as being disabled and still obtain SSI benefits. A disability law attorney has information on SSI benefits and others you may qualify for and how to appeal if you're denied.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI Eligibility Requirements -- 2016 Edition," accessed Oct. 11, 2016

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.

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