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Supplemental Security Income


Supplemental Security Income S.S.I. - Information

If you become disabled because of lymphedema, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income. This can be of great help while you undergo treatment. This section will provide information on what SSI is and how to file for it.


Supplemental Security Income
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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):

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It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
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It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.


Supplemental Security Income - Available Booklet

SSI makes monthly payments to people who have low income and few resources and are:

If you are applying for SSI, you also should get our publication, What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (Publication No. 05-11011).
Disabled or blind children also can receive SSI. You can get more information about benefits for children by visiting our website at or calling us to get a copy of the publication, Benefits For Children With Disabilities (Publication No. 05-10026).

The basic SSI amount is the same nationwide. However, many states add money to the basic benefit. You can call us to find out the amounts for your state.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)



Supplemental Security Income - Children

SSI is a Federal income supplement program, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It provides monthly payments to people who have limited income and resources and who are at least 65 years old, or blind, or disabled under Social Security rules.

SSI isn't just for adults. Disabled or blind children under age 18 can receive SSI, too. For a disabled child, the program can provide monthly cash payments based on family income; qualify your child for Medicaid health care services in many states; and ensure referral of your child into the system of care available under State Title V programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN). 

To receive SSI payments, a child must meet two sets of eligibility criteria: financial criteria based on the income and resources of the child and family and medical criteria about the child's impairment or combination of impairments.

Supplemenetal Security Income (SSI) payments for children with disabilities

Children's Health Insurance Programs


Social Security Disability Secrets


Disability determination is addressed in SSA Publication No. 64-039

"Disability Evaluation Under Social Security" (also known as the 'Blue Book')

<< when applying for disability is Lymphedema the
primary reason for claiming or the damage it does? >>

Disability determination is addressed in SSA Publication No. 64-039
"Disability Evaluation Under Social Security" (also known as the 'Blue Book')

Lymphedema is not recognized in the Blue Book as a malfunctioning of the
lymphatic system that will result in an automatic determination of disability. I
would suggest therefore that time be spent in seeking disability due to
"disorders of the musculoskeletal system". See Part A Section 1.00 of the Blue Book.
Loss of function from any cause is discussed in this section, and it is my
opinion that your lawyer should read this section and discuss an approach with
you based on your situation.

It will be a difficult fight to establish disability for lymphedema, but I
believe it meets all the requirements.

Bob Weiss
Not a lawyer or licensed to give legal advice. These are my observations and


Supplemental Security Income & Social Security Disability Insurance

Defining SSI

SSI is short for Supplemental Security Income. It pays monthly cash benefits to people who are age 65 or older, those who are blind, or those who have a disability and who do not own much or have a lot of income. SSI is not just for adults. Monthly benefits can go to disabled and blind children, too.

The amount of cash benefits you can receive depends on the state in which you live. The basic SSI amount is the same nationwide. However, many states add money to the basic benefit. Call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to find out the benefit amount for your state.

Qualifying for SSI benefits

To qualify for SSI benefits, you have to meet a variety of eligibility requirements, including an income and resource test. The amount of income you can have each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. Call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to find out the income limits in your state. Social Security does not count all of your income when they decide if you can get SSI. For example, SSA does not count:

If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.

If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count any wages you use to pay for items or services you need to work because of your disability. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair will not count as income.

Also, Social Security does not count any wages a blind person uses to pay expenses that are caused by working. For example, if a blind person uses wages to pay for transportation to and from work, the transportation cost is not counted as income.

Additionally, if you get SSI, you may also be able to get other help from your state or county. For example, you may be able to get Medicaid, food stamps or some other social services. For information about all the services available in your community, call your local social services department or public welfare office.

Defining SSDI

SSDI is short for Social Security Disability Insurance. In general, SSDI pays monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. After a 24-month waiting period, SSDI eligibility allows you to receive Medicare benefits even if you are under age 65.

Qualifying for SSDI

To qualify for benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. You must also have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of disability. In addition to meeting the definition of disability established by SSA, you must have worked long enough -- and recently enough -- under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

How the Social Security Administration determines if you are disabled

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

Disability under Social Security is based on your inability to work. SSA considers you disabled under Social Security rules if you cannot do work that you did previously and you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s). Your disability must also last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers' compensation, insurance, savings and investments.

To decide whether you are disabled, SSA uses a step-by-step process involving five questions. They are:

1. Are you working?

If you are currently working and your average earnings are more than the minimums established by SSA, you generally cannot be considered disabled. Check with SSA to determine their income standards.

2. Is your condition "severe"?

Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, SSA will not consider you disabled. I f your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, SSA goes to Step 3.

3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?

For each of the major body systems, SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, SSA has to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, they will find that you are disabled. If it is not, they then go to Step 4.

4. Can you do the work you did previously?

If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then SSA must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, the SSA proceeds to Step 5.

5. Can you do any other type of work?

If you cannot do the work you did in the past, SSA looks to see if you are able to adjust to other work. They consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.

For additional questions about Social Security Disability Insurance, please visit the Social Security Administration's Web site.

Link No Longer Avaiable


Join us as we work for lymphedema patients everywhere:

Advocates for Lymphedema

Dedicated to be an advocacy group for lymphedema patients. Working towards education, legal reform, changing insurance practices, promoting research, reaching for a cure.


Pat O'Connor

Lymphedema People / Advocates for Lymphedema


For information about Lymphedema\

For Information about Lymphedema Complications

For Lymphedema Personal Stories

For information about How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound

For information about Lymphedema Treatment

For information about Exercises for Lymphedema

For information on Infections Associated with Lymphedema

For information on Lymphedema in Children

Lymphedema Glossary


Lymphedema People - Support Groups


Children with Lymphedema

The time has come for families, parents, caregivers to have a support group of their own. Support group for parents, families and caregivers of chilren with lymphedema. Sharing information on coping, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Sponsored by Lymphedema People.



Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family!




If you are a man with lymphedema; a man with a loved one with lymphedema who you are trying to help and understand come join us and discover what it is to be the master instead of the sufferer of lymphedema.



All About Lymphangiectasia

Support group for parents, patients, children who suffer from all forms of lymphangiectasia. This condition is caused by dilation of the lymphatics. It can affect the intestinal tract, lungs and other critical body areas.



Lymphatic Disorders Support Group @ Yahoo Groups

While we have a number of support groups for lymphedema... there is nothing out there for other lymphatic disorders. Because we have one of the most comprehensive information sites on all lymphatic disorders, I thought perhaps, it is time that one be offered.


Information and support for rare and unusual disorders affecting the lymph system. Includes lymphangiomas, lymphatic malformations, telangiectasia, hennekam's syndrome, distichiasis, Figueroa
syndrome, ptosis syndrome, plus many more. Extensive database of information available through sister site Lymphedema People.



Lymphedema People New Wiki Pages

Have you seen our new “Wiki” pages yet?  Listed below are just a sample of the more than 140 pages now listed in our Wiki section. We are also working on hundred more.  Come and take a stroll! 

Lymphedema Glossary 


Arm Lymphedema 

Leg Lymphedema 

Acute Lymphedema 

The Lymphedema Diet 

Exercises for Lymphedema 

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

Lymphedema People Online Support Groups 



Lymphedema and Pain Management 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) 

Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound 

Fungal Infections Associated with Lymphe dema 

Lymphedema in Children 


Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Extraperitoneal para-aortic lymph node dissection (EPLND) 

Axillary node biopsy

Sentinel Node Biopsy

Small Needle Biopsy - Fine Needle Aspiration 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Lymphedema Gene FOXC2

 Lymphedema Gene VEGFC

 Lymphedema Gene SOX18

 Lymphedema and Pregnancy

Home page: Lymphedema People

Page Updated: Jan. 17, 2012

This page has been updated and replaced by our new Wiki page:

Supplemental Security Income