What Disabilities Qualify For SSI?

On a federal level, two cash assistance programs for qualified disabled individuals are administered and managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These programs are Supplemental Security Income or SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. These two programs are similar in some respects. 

However, they differ regarding the eligibility criteria and the application processes. People with disabilities and blindness with incomes and resources below certain limits can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals over the age of 65 who meet the financial qualifications for SSI are also eligible to receive payments even if they are not disabled. 

Although both programs have similar medical requirements, SSDI payments are only provided to individuals who meet the medical requirements that prevent them from working or are making it difficult for them to work. Additionally, their disabling conditions must have lasted for at least 12 months, or they might be expected to die as a result of their disabilities. 

Individuals are considered to be blind by the SSA under both programs if their vision is less than 20/200 or if it is not possible for them to see more than 20 degrees with one of their eyes. The disability may still be considered by the SSA even if the person's sight isn't poor enough to qualify as blind.

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Disabilities That Qualify For SSI

The administering authority for the SSI program is the SSA, which has very strict disability standards in place to determine the eligibility of SSI claimants by listing out what disabilities qualify for SSI. This ensures that individuals who fall short of these standards and requirements by even a slight margin will not qualify. 

Due to the needs-based nature of the SSI program, it is available only to individuals whose incomes and resources are limited. People who receive SSI payments are most likely to be blind or disabled. Disability benefits may be available to you if you suffer from many physical or psychological conditions. The following 14 different categories of conditions are classified as disabilities by the Social Security Administration.

  1. Musculoskeletal Disorders (Sections 1.01 - 1.23)
  2. Special Senses and Speech (Sections 2.01 - 2.11)
  3. Respiratory Disorders (Sections 3.01 - 3.14)
  4. Cardiovascular System (Sections 4.01 - 4.12)
  5. Digestive System (Sections 5.01 - 5.09)
  6. Genitourinary Disorders (Sections 6.01 - 6.09)
  7. Hematological Disorders (Sections 7.01 - 7.18)
  8. Skin Disorders (Sections 8.01 - 8.08)
  9. Endocrine Disorders (Sections 9.00)
  10. Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems (Sections 10.01 - 10.06)
  11. Neurological Disorders (Sections 11.01 - 11.22)
  12. Mental Disorders (Sections 12.01 - 12.15)
  13. Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases) (Sections 13.01 - 12.29)
  14. Immune System Disorders (Sections 14.01 - 14.11)

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Important SSI Disability Statistics 

SSI Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for SSI determine the qualification of the claimants on the basis of their age, income, and the resources they possess.    


Adults who are seeking SSI benefits must: 


The following are the requirements children seeking SSI should fulfill to qualify for SSI.

Income/Resources Requirements 

SSI benefits are available to people who have limited resources and income. As shown in the sections below, SSI is available to people with incomes and resources up to a certain level. Each of the sections below may have exclusions related to income and resources.

Income Limits

Income refers to any amount of money received by an individual that can be used to buy food or shelter. Regarding SSI, income includes any item that can be used to meet basic needs, either directly or through sale or conversion. Any free or low-cost food or shelter you receive is considered to be a part of your income. The following income levels are applicable for SSI.

Resources Limits

If you are applying individually, your resources (which you own) should not exceed $2,000 to qualify for SSI. Couples with assets worth less than $3,000 may qualify for SSI. The SSA does not consider all of your possessions when determining if you qualify for SSI. You don't have to include your house if you live there; your vehicle is usually excluded. Stocks, bonds, and bank accounts are all counted.

Applying For SSI

There are two main ways in which you can apply for SSI. You can either choose to apply directly with help from the SSA or opt for the online application.  

Apply Via SSA

One of the easiest ways to apply for SSI benefits is directly through the Social Security Administration. This option is available for people who need help with the application process. You can start by scheduling an appointment with SSA for your benefits claim. You may request an appointment for yourself or someone else. SSA representatives can answer your queries, explain the documents required, and assist you in completing your application.

In order to book an appointment with SSA, you'll be required to provide the following information.

Making An Appointment With SSA 

You have two options if you would like to schedule an appointment with the Social Security Administration. 

Submit an Online Application

Applications for SSA appointments can be submitted online. You should be clear about online application requirements, the information you might be required to submit, and what documents you’ll need to have at hand to successfully submit your application before getting started. You can choose one of the following two options when opting for an online application.

A representative of the SSA will likely contact you later after you have submitted your information.

To determine what disabilities qualify for SSI, the SSA has a detailed list of disorders and conditions that can qualify an individual to be disabled and eligible for SSI assistance. SSI is available to adults and children based on their limited income and resources. To apply for SSI, you can seek SSA's help during the application process or apply online on your own.

Waiting for the outcome of your Social Security disability application can be a nerve-racking time. Visit Disability Help and check out our article on what to expect regarding your Social Security disability decision letter.

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