Even if you have never worked and therefore do not qualify for SSDI, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income if you have a low income and do not have a lot of assets (resources) that can be easily converted to cash. Besides being found disabled under the Social Security Administration’s criteria, you must pass both the income and the resource test to receive SSI.
Income test: Income can be earned or unearned, and is money you receive such as wages for working at a job, Social Security benefits, and pensions. Income could also include payments received in the form of food and shelter. In 2010, the maximum monthly income, after the deductions listed below, is $674 for a single person or $1011 for a married couple. Allowable deductions include:
• The first $20 of most income you receive each month.
• The first $65 you earn from working each month and half the amount over $65.
• Food stamps.
• Shelter you get from private nonprofit organizations.
• Most home energy assistance.
If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages you use to pay for items or services that help you to work. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair do not count as income.