TN 40 (12-04)

SI 00501.001 Eligibility Under the Supplemental Security Income Provisions


Social Security Act, Sec 1611 and 1614;

20 CFR 416.202, 416.203, 416.210, 416.214; 416.1851; 416.1856; 416.1861; 416.1866; 416.1870; 416.1870; 416.1872; 416.1874; 416.1876

A. Introduction

Title XVI of the Social Security Act specifies who is eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the amount of cash payments, and the conditions under which payments can be made. A person who applies for SSI and meets the conditions in the law is eligible for benefits. The material in this subchapter is an introduction to the SSI eligibility requirements. Subsequent sections explain these requirements in detail.

B. Policy

1. Basic Eligibility Requirements

The following are the basic eligibility requirements:

  • Age 65 or older, blind, or disabled;

  • Reside in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands, except for a child of military parent(s) assigned to permanent duty anywhere outside the United States (U.S.) (see SI 00501.415) or certain students temporarily abroad (see SI 00501.411);

  • Citizen or national of the U.S or an alien who meets the applicable requirements as follows:

    • for benefits payable beginning August 22, 1996, the alien must meet the alien status requirements in SI 00502.100;

    • for benefits payable before August 22, 1996, the alien must be lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. (GN 00303.440) or permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law (SI 00501.420).

  • Have income and resources within specified limits; and

  • File an application.

2. Definition of Eligible Individual

An eligible individual is a person who meets all of the basic requirements in SI 00501.001B.1., including a person who meets the definition of “child.” (See SI 00501.010)

3. Definition of Eligible Spouse

An eligible spouse is a person who meets all of the basic requirements in SI 00501.001B.1. and is the husband or wife of the eligible individual and who is living in the same household with that person. An individual and spouse must each file an application and meet all the criteria to establish eligibility as an eligible couple.

4. Eligibility Exceptions

  1. Despite meeting all of the criteria, an individual is not eligible for SSI if he or she: