Supplemental Security Income Benefits and Medicaid

Those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) generally are eligible for Medicaid. Determination of eligibility varies, depending on the state in which you reside. Some states require separate applications for SSI benefits and Medicaid because they have their own eligibility rules. In North Carolina, however, if you qualify for SSI, then you are automatically eligible for Medicaid.

An Overview of Supplemental Security Income

SSI benefits are available to certain individuals who have limited income and financial resources and who are disabled, blind and/or 65 years old and older.

When evaluating one’s income, wages earned, free shelter and/or food, and benefits such as Workers’ Compensation, unemployment and Social Security disability will be considered. Limited financial resources include bank accounts, cash, personal property and more.

To be considered disabled, you must have a mental or physical impairment that prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). It doesn’t matter whether you work full or part-time; if you earn more than $1,010 per month, you generally are considered to be engaged in SGA.

Additionally, the definition of disabled also means your condition has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or will result in death. Meanwhile, eligibility for Supplemental Security Income for individuals who are blind is based on SSA’s definition of statutory blindness.

An Overview of Medicaid

The program provides no-cost or low-cost healthcare coverage for low-income individuals. Because, like SSI, it is intended for people with low income, North Carolina does not require individuals who receive SSI to apply for Medicaid because they are covered automatically.

Sometimes an individual will receive SSI benefits and work. If at some point he or she is no longer eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (income is too high to qualify), Medicaid still could be available.

To continue receiving Medicaid if SSI is no longer available, the individual must:

  • require Medicaid to work;
  • still be considered disabled;
  • have been eligible for SSI for at least a month; and
  • not have gross earnings that can replace SSI and Medicaid.


Whether one’s gross earnings can replace these benefits is based on the threshold amount. In North Carolina, the threshold amount (as of 2012) is $34,318 for disabled individuals.

In cases in which gross earnings exceed the threshold of the state, the SSA may determine an individual threshold if the person meets certain qualifications such as:

  • work expenses related to one’s impairment;
  • blind work expenses;
  • a self-support plan;
  • a publicly funded personal attendant; or
  • medical expenses that exceed the state average.


Discuss eligibility requirements with an attorney who handles cases involving Social Security. He or she can explain the requirements and can assist if you are denied benefits unfairly.

Contacting an SSI Attorney in Dunn, NC

Supplemental Security Income is paid to recipients of various ages. Most are between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. According to SSA, in November 2012, the last month for which data was available, this age group comprised 4,859,516 recipients. Next are those 65 and older (2,082,942 recipients), followed by 18 years and under (1,298,560 recipients).t Brent Adams & Associates, we understand how confusing the process can be for acquiring Social Security or SSI benefits. It may create a delay if the proper paperwork or documentation is not filled out correctly or filed on time. It also can be a challenge to understand the eligibility requirements for the different types of federally funded programs. Contact us today at (910) 892-8177 to discuss whether you qualify to receive Medicaid and/or Supplemental Security Income.