Social Security Insurance

Social Security Income Qualification Requirements

If you have not worked enough quarters to accumulate eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Social Security Income (SSI) is based on the financial “needs” of an individual who is unable to work due to a physical or mental condition, or both. The Social Security Administration (SSA) generally considers an individual eligible for Social Security Income (SSI) if they have less than $2,000 in assets or resources, or $3,000 for a married individual. In most states, including Colorado, an SSI recipient will also receive Medicaid to help pay for certain health care related costs.

Children may also be eligible for SSI if they are found disabled and their parents meet the income/financial requirements. Children are evaluated under a different standard than adults, but the application process is essentially the same.

Once the individual is determined to meet the financial criteria for SSI, they still have to meet the 5-step process to be found disabled.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a 5-step process to determine if a person meets the criteria for receiving disability benefits. You must meet the criteria of each step before moving onto the next step of the criteria list.

Social Security Administration’s 5-step criteria list to qualify for Social Security Income benefits

  1. Are you working? You must be unable to work or reduced to working part-time with a monthly average of $1,010 a month to be considered disabled.
  2. Is your condition “severe?”
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? The list of disabling conditions can be found at If you meet all the elements of one of these conditions, you’re likely win your case at Step 3! If you do not meet one of these qualifiers, you can still win your case in the next 2 steps.
  4. Can you do the work you previously did? If the answer is no, then you move on to step 5. The answer must be no to be eligible for disability benefits.
  5. Can you do any other type of work? The last step considers whether you can adjust to other types of work that exist in the regional or national economy. If you cannot adjust to other types of work, you will be approved!

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