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Supplemental Security Income


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Ticket to Work



Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility

To qualify for SSI, an individual must meet the disability guidelines, primarily the inability to work at a substantial level (which means the inability to earn Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). In 2012, SGA is $1010 per month. Additionally, the disability must have lasted or be expected to last for at least a year (12 months) or result in death.

The Social Security Administration also has a process to determine the disability. This process includes five basic questions:

1. Is the individual working?

2. Is the individual’s condition severe?

3. Is the individual’s condition severe enough to meet Social Security’s “listing of impairments”?

4. Can the individual do the work s/he did previously?

5. Can the individual do any other type of work?

Once the above questions are answered, the Social Security Administration will forward the claim to Indiana’s Disability Determination Service Bureau to review medical information and other information submitted. SSI payments usually will begin the month following the date of the application.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration- Disability Determination Bureau

SSI is for individuals with little or no income. Income is cash, in-kind services and other support that can help to obtain food, clothing or shelter. Social Security will consider earned and unearned income when considering a person’s eligibility for SSI. Social Security will also evaluate an individual’s living arrangement and apply deeming if an individual lives with a spouse or someone else who has income.

Individuals eligible for SSI must have countable resources of less than $2,000 per month for a single individual and $3,000 per month for a couple. SSI checks are paid through the Federal Treasury.

Resources that SSA includes are:

  • money accumulated in bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments

  • stocks

  • cash

  • real estate

  • expensive jewelry

Resources do not include the following:

  • one house, if s/he lives in it

  • one vehicle worth less than $4,500, or one vehicle of any value if it is used for getting to/from work or medical services

  • combined life insurance (face value) and funds set aside for burial of up to $1,500

  • a burial plot

Once an individual is determined eligible for SSI, Social Security will determine the amount of the SSI check based on the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). Each year, Congress establishes a Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). The dollar amount of this benefit rate is the maximum federal benefit amount that an SSI recipient can receive on a monthly basis. An individual may receive less than FBR if they live in another’s household, have an overpayment of benefits, have earned income or have Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or other unearned income. In 2012, the FBR is $698 per month for an individual and $1048 per month for a couple.


The Disability Benefits and Work website was funded by the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (CFDA # 93.768)

This site is intended for informational purposes only. Individual situations vary widely and must be evaluated on an individual basis by Division of Family Resources eligibility caseworkers, or Social Security Claims Representatives and/or Indiana Works-Community Works Incentive Coordinators. Links from this site are provided to help people research various topics and do not constitute endorsements by the State of Indiana or its partners.