Supplemental Security Income

David Dowd

Supplemental Security Income is one of two disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration.  The other program offered is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available when you do not have enough work credits to apply for SSDI.  Eligibility for SSI is based on a means test.  SSI applications will only be considered after passing the means test.  The means test will look at any income and assets that you are currently collecting or holding.  There are two types of income the Social Security Administration considers when evaluating income, unearned income and earned income.  Earned income is simply income earned from an employment source.  A person applying for Social Security Disability can work and earn income as long as it is under substantial gainful activity, this amount is about $1,100 a month before taxes.  Unearned income is income earned on a regular basis from a non-employment source.  Some income from unearned income includes stocks, a 401k, trust funds, and rental properties.  Social Security also refers to unearned and earned income as limited income and limited resources.   To apply for SSI the criteria for an applciation is the same as SSDI.  You must be unable to work due to a disablility, your disability must keep you out of work for a projected 12 months, and or you disability is expected to result in death.   In-kind income is also considered by the Social Security Administartion.  This is income that is counted when someone is assisting you with common living expenses for free.  If you are getting food and shelter at no cost while applying or collecting disability this will be considered in an SSI application.  Remember SSI applications are for people who do not have the work credits required for SSDI.  If you do have the work credits for SSDI a means test is not a part of the application.