Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Current SSI Eligibility Rules
To be eligible for SSI benefits, a person living with Parkinson's must:

  • Have a severe disability resulting from physical or mental impairment that prevents engaging in substantial gainful activity and is expected to result in death or has lasted, or is expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
  • Have income below certain limits (Limits may vary by state, living arrangements, and type of income).
  • Have resources (may include: cash, bank accounts, land, vehicles, personal property, life insurance) below certain limits ($2,000 for individual; $3,000 for couples).

An individual may be ineligible if he or she is a resident of a public institution from the first day of a month through the last day of the same month, fails to apply for all other benefits for which he or she may be eligible (including Social Security benefits), fails to give SSA permission to contact any financial institution for financial records, or is outside the US for 30 consecutive days. Unlike SSDI, there is not earned work credit requirement for SSI.

SSA estimates that a decision on SSI eligibility normally takes between 90 to 120 days, but people diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a type of parkinsonism, may qualify for a fast-tracked application under Compassionate Allowances (CAL) condition initiative, which is reserved for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions most always meet Social Security’s disability standards. Learn more about the CAL initiative.

How to Apply
You can apply for SSI benefits online, in-person, or on the phone. To learn more about the application process, visit the SSA website.