Disability, SSI

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income with Social Security

September 17, 2020 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

We pay monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to people with disabilities who have low income and few resources, and people who are age 65 or older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

Income is money you receive, such as wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions. Income also includes things like food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live.

Resources are things you own, including real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds, which we count in deciding if you qualify for SSI. You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth $2,000 or less. A couple may be able to get SSI if they have resources worth $3,000 or less. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.

We will not count economic impact payments, also known as coronavirus stimulus payments or CARES Act payments, as income for SSI. These payments will also not count as resources for 12 months. You can learn more about qualifying for SSI by reading our publication, Supplemental Security Income.

If you’re an adult with a disability intending to file for both SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance, you can apply online for both benefits at the same time if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 65.
  • Have never been married.
  • Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past.

We’re here for you. You can find more information on our website.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. John

    Does a severe OCD mental health condition, that prevents a person from employment, constitute a disability?
    How is such a disability “certified”?
    How is disability ended if condition improves?

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for your question, John. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources.

      We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online application.

      We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. You may find our listing of impairments useful. We hope this helps.

  2. Anne

    I’m sorry to say this. But I don’t feel Social Security should be paying people for disabilities but only if they are totally unable to function. People are taking advantage of this. I happen to know someone who is perfectly capable of working and is taking advantage of SS. My opinion is that there should be a way to educate and find jobs for people who are disabled. You probably have no idea of how many people take advantage of the system.

  3. Jane E.


    • Vonda V.

      Hi Jane, thanks for using our blog. Because SSI is a needs-based program for individuals with limited income and resources, if you become eligible for a Social Security benefit, you are required to apply for it. It does not mean you get less money. If you have additional questions, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. MARIA R.

    I’m receiving SSDI. Do I qualify for SSI

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Maria, thanks for using our blog. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. Typically, when you file for SSDI benefits you also file for SSI; however, depending on your SSDI benefit amount, the income could be too high to qualify for SSI. Check out our SSI Income web page for details.

  5. sylvia p.

    if you are married to illegal resident but your are citizen of USA. can your wife receive SSI? or will I have to share my SS benefits with her. wife is 65 and I’m 75 years old.Right now fixing her paperwork so she can be a legal resident.

  6. Terry W.

    I have had a heart attack and have water around my heart & lungs. I am as close as you can come to being bedridden. My wife and I are 73 years old. and could use more money due to drug bills and doctor bills.
    Thank you,

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Terry, thanks for using our blog. When a person has reached their full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they are no longer eligible for disability benefits.

  7. Altheria L.

    I currently receive ssi disability what type of low income housing assistance might be available to me if I have a desire to move from my current location please?

  8. Joyce M.

    It seems I don’t qualify for any additional help. My SS income certainly isn’t enough for me to pay insurance on home and car, life insurance, utilities, etc. I barely have enough for food! However if I had 10 illegal children or was an illegal I’m sure I would get help. It’s a shame that at 77 I have to do without just so the illegals and illegitimate children can get anything!

    • John J.

      You are correct.

  9. José G.

    thank you for shearing all that information.

  10. Gerry D.

    Do an automobile (1), count toward the $2000 asset limit for qualifying for ssi?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Gerry, thanks for your question. Resources are the things you own such as cash, real estate, personal belongings, bank accounts, stocks and bonds that you can use for your support. However, not all of your resources count toward the SSI resource limit. For SSI, we do not count one vehicle, regardless of value, if you or a member of your household use it for transportation.

      Check out our SSI Resources web page for more information. We hope this helps!

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