If you are living in the United States as a non-citizen, you may have a disability that prevents you from working. There is also a chance that you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance but received a denial. However, if you meet certain qualifications, you could still qualify for Supplemental Security Income.

Becoming a qualified alien

As of August 22, 1996, a non-citizen must fulfill two initial requirements to become eligible for Supplemental Security Income. First, you must classify as a qualified alien. Second, you must satisfy a condition that would allow you to receive SSI benefits. The Department of Homeland Security lists seven categories for a person to receive denial as a qualified alien:

  •         Lawfully admitted into the U.S. for permanent residence (LAPR)
  •         Granted conditional entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act
  •         Paroled into the U.S. under the INA
  •         Admitted to the U.S. as a refugee under the INA
  •         Granted asylum under the INA
  •         Deportation is being withheld under the INA
  •         Cuban or Haitian entrant under the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980

Eligibility for SSI

If your income and resources have limits and you are aged, disabled or blind, you may be eligible for SSI if you also meet certain other conditions. For example, you may qualify if you were receiving SSI and residing lawfully within the U.S. on August 22, 1996, or you are blind or disabled and were residing lawfully within the U.S. on that date. You may also be eligible for SSI if you hold LAPR status and have 40 qualifying quarters of earnings.

A need-based program

It is not necessary to have a long work history to qualify for Supplemental Security Income; it is a need-based program. With legal assistance, you can determine your ability to qualify for SSI and work through the complexities of this government program. Remember that you must be over the age of 65, blind or disabled, own very little property and have limited income. Even as a non-citizen of the United States, you may qualify for a program that would make life easier for you and your family.