Low-income individuals who cannot work due to a disability may be eligible for supplemental security income (SSI). This financial assistance program is offered to qualified individuals who fill out an application through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Applying for SSI
Applying for SSI benefits requires an individual to call or visit a local Social Security office.
People who are applying for SSI benefits for a child under the age of 18 will need to accompany the child when they go to the office for an interview. The parent or guardian will be required to sign paperwork as a responsible party representing the minor child.
The Social Security office will have interpreters available for anyone whose primary language is a language other than English. These services are provided free of charge to ensure that applicants understand the process and what is expected of them.
People who apply for SSI benefits must be considered to be low-income individuals. This means that they must have less than $2,000 in total assets for an individual or $3,000 in total assets for a couple. Income limits also apply. Anyone who cannot work due to a disability and makes more than the SSI income limit can apply for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.
SSI for Adults
Adults may be eligible for SSI benefits if they are blind, disabled or over the age of 65. Applicants must have limited income and assets in order to qualify for assistance.
Disabled adults who apply for SSI benefits must have a condition that is severe and chronic in nature. The disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or must be expected to result in death.
SSI for Children
Children who suffer from a disability are eligible for SSI benefits starting at birth. SSI benefits are available for children who have a severe mental or physical disability that limits their ability to lead a normal life. Disabilities suffered by children must last for a minimum of one year or be expected to result in death in order for a child to qualify for SSI benefits.
The income of the entire household will be taken into consideration when a parent or guardian applies for SSI benefits for a disabled child. Only low-income households are eligible to collect SSI benefits, so it is possible for a disabled child to be ineligible for SSI benefits despite having no income.
Children who receive SSI benefits will need to undergo an eligibility review approximately every three years. This review determines whether the child’s disability status has changed. Income will also be examined to determine if the child is still part of a low-income household.
Anyone who suffers from a disability and believes that they should be receiving SSI benefits should contact an attorney to better understand their rights. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.