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In order to be eligible to receive SSI benefits, individuals must prove the following: They are 65+ years of age or blind or disabled; and

  • They legally reside in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia or Northern Mariana Islands, are the child of military parents assigned to permanent duty outside of the US, or are a student (certain restrictions apply) temporarily abroad; and
  • They have income and resources within certain limits (see subsections); and
  • They have applied for the benefits.

An individual may be ineligible if he or she is a resident of a public institution from the first day of a month through the last day of that month fails to apply for all other benefits for which they may be eligible (including Social Security benefits), has an unsatisfied warrant or violates parole conditions, fails to give SSA permission to contact any financial institution for financial records, or is outside the US for thirty consecutive days (with some exclusions). frequent margins have been placed on who is eligible for the benefit, which is considered a welfare benefit. However, unlike social security benefits earned work credits are not a requirement for SSI

If insured for disability and not currently receiving benefits, an applicant for SSI also applies for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), and the standard by which applicants are judged to be disabled is virtually the same for SSI and DIB.

The decision as to whether an individual is disabled is made by the various state Disability Determination Services (DDS), which contract with the federal government. Although the DDS’s are state agencies, they pursue federal rules. This arrangement arose from the inception of OASDI, when some key members of Congress considered the Social Security Disability program should be administered employing federalism, faring expansion of the federal government.


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