SSI for adults with disabilities

Supplemental Security Income for Adults with Disabilities

What if an individual between 18 and 64 years of age meets the Social Security definition of disability, but cannot access disability benefits through a work record? If these individuals have low income and resources, they can qualify for Supplemental Security Income for Adults with Disabilities. In addition, if an individual with a disability receives a smaller check from another Social Security program, SSI can come in and supplement that check up to $20 more than the SSI federal benefit rate for that year.

Funding Source

Supplemental Security Income is paid from the General Funds appropriated  from federal budget every year.


  • Meet the Social Security definition of disability (inability to do any Substantial Gainful Activity by reason of any physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months)
  • Meet the income and asset limits. The amount of income you can have depends on whether it is earned or unearned and many other factors. The asset limit is $2000 for an individual and $3000 for a couple, with exemptions that include the house you live in and one car.
  • Meet a list of other qualifications that include living in the US, specific requirements for non-citizen residents, and allowing access to accounts with financial institutions.

How Benefit Amount is Calculated

SSI has a standard federal benefit rate. In 2012, that rate is $698 for an individual and $1048  for a couple both receiving SSI.   Some states also provide a supplement to the federal benefit. The amount of SSI received can be reduced if somebody else assists with food or housing (in-kind support and maintenance), deeming of the income of a spouse or sponsor, work income, and many forms of unearned income.