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What are the categories of eligibility?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

2112. What are the categories of eligibility?

In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, you must fit one of the following three categories:

  1. Aged - An "aged" person is someone who is age 65 or older;

  2. Blind - A "blind" person is someone whose vision, with use of a correcting lens, is 20/200 or less in the better eye or who has tunnel vision of 20 degrees or less. There is no minimum age limit (for converted blind recipients, see §2172); OR

  3. Disabled

    1. A "disabled" person age 18 or older is someone who meets the definition of disability for adults in Social Security law. That is, he or she must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

    2. A "disabled" person under the age of 18 is someone who meets the definition of disability for children in Social Security law. That is, he or she must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in marked and severe functional limitation(s), and which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Last Revised: Nov. 29, 2004


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