Ask Bob: Who Qualifies for Supplemental Security Insurance?

Robert Powell, CFP®


If a person is 68 years old and doesn't have enough points to retire but has become disabled and unable to work, can that person collect disability through SSI?


Under the Social Security Administration there are two different programs in which you can collect disability benefits, explains Jim McCarthy, CFP, ChFC, with Directional Wealth Management.

The first program is funded by Social Security taxes collected through payroll and the other is funded by general tax revenues. “In order to qualify for the first program there are strict qualification requirements, one of them being having collected the full 40 work credit given your age,” he says. “The other program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed for aged, blind, and disabled people who have little to no income.” Requirements for qualifying under SSI are:

Anyone who is:

 - aged (age 65 or older)

 - blind, or

 - disabled

And, who:

 - has limited income

 - income lowers benefit amount

 - has limited resources

 - single capped at $2,000; couple capped at $3,000

 - is a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens

 - is a resident of one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands

 - is not absent from the country for a full calendar month or for 30 consecutive days or more

 - is not confined to an institution (such as a hospital or prison) at the government’s expense

 - applies for any other cash benefits or payments for which he or she may be eligible, (for example, pensions, Social Security benefits)

 - gives SSA permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about you

 - files an application

“Given the information that you provided, you might be able to qualify for SSI,” McCarthy says. The application can be found at 

Got questions? Get answers!

Got questions about the CARES Act, Social Security, Medicare, retirement, investments, or money in general? Get answers. Email Kim McSheridan assisted with this report. 


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