Supplemental Social Security for Adults

What is SSI: A federal program that provides monthly payments to adults with disabilities who have limited income and few assets.

Who should apply: At age 18, all individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities that plan to pursue Division of Disability Services (DDD) should apply for SSI. Even individuals that receive SSI as a minor, still need to reapply as an adult. Parental income and resources do not affect adult children’s SSI eligibility

Other important information:

  • New Jersey residents who receive SSI will automatically receive New Jersey Medicaid.
  • Having SSI protects Medicaid eligibility for the future.

Who is Eligible:

  1. Must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including an emotional or learning problem) which:
    1. results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity; and
    2. can be expected to result in death; or
    3. has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
  2. Has limited income. See for more information regarding what is considered income.
  3. Resource limit is $2,000. Resources include cash, stocks, bonds and banks accounts. Does not include Able Accounts or money in a qualified Special Needs Trust. See for more information.
  4. Must be a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens.

Adult children living with parents: Adult children are expected to contribute their fair share to the rent or mortgage, food and other housing costs or their SSI benefits may be reduced. See link for more information:

How to apply:

What you’ll need:

  • Medical information - A medical diagnosis that includes the existence of any impairment and the severity of impairment. Information about medications and treatments also is helpful.
  • School information including IEPs and progress reports and information from any social service programs and caseworkers.
  • Financial documents showing if the applicant has a job and the salary and documents showing any assets.

If approved for SSI, what are the next steps to take:

A separate bank account should be opened by the recipient or the guardian to receive the payments and the social security award letter should be brought to the bank. If the recipient has a guardian, the account should be set up with the guardian listed as the representative payee.

What happens if the SSI application is rejected: You have 60 days to appeal.

What if someone is found not eligible for SSI?

One can still apply for New Jersey Medicaid:

  • Visit your County Board of Social Services) to apply for Medicaid (New Jersey Care or Workability)
  • Review the Medicaid Document Verification Checklist to make sure you know what documents to bring when applying.

For more information, please see