The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees several assistance programs designed to provide financial aid to those who are unable to work the full- or part- time hours needed to fully support themselves. One of the most popular of these is known as Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Those who meet the SSI disability qualifications are eligible for financial help that can make a world of difference.
Figuring out which program you qualify for, and which offers the benefits that can be most helpful to you, can make the complicated process of filing a claim a bit less overwhelming. Before you head to the SSA website to apply, let’s take a closer at the SSI disability qualifications the program requires applicants to meet:
What is SSI?
SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is a program designed to provide supplemental income to low-income citizens who are over the age of 65, blind, or disabled.
These benefits are funded by tax revenue which is specifically designed to help those with limited resources.
As with all other SSA programs, those looking to apply can do so on the Social Security Administration's website.
What Are the SSI Disability Qualifications?
In order to qualify for these particular benefits, you’ll have to meet a few SSI disability requirements.
First and foremost, SSI benefits are specifically designed for those who are over the age of 65, blind, or disabled.
In addition to those basic requirements, other SSI disability qualifications include:
- Owning less than $2,000 in financial assets, with the exception of some primary assets like primary residence and vehicle. For couples, this limit jumps to $3,000.
- Earning a monthly income of $1,767 or less.
- Not being out of the United States for 30 or more consecutive days.
- Having access to limited resources.
- Not being confined to an institution, like a hospital or prison, at the government’s expense
- Giving the Social Security Administration permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about you
What Happens If My SSI Claim is Denied?
Even if you meet all of these requirements, you may find that your SSI claim is denied upon your first application. Don’t panic—most social security disability claims are denied the first time.
Many times, filing an appeal can yield a more positive result, and you may find that upon a second pass your claim is approved.
According to the Social Security Administration, you have 60 days after the initial SSI decision to ask for an appeal. There are four types of appeals you can file:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge.
- Review by the Appeals Council.
- Federal Court review
You can file a reconsideration appeal online, or you can request a hearing by an administrative law judge, or a review by the Appeals Council.
If I Don’t Meet SSI Disability Qualifications, What Should I Do?
If you don’t meet the SSI disability qualifications, there are other options available to you.
The SSA also offers benefits through their Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI, program. SSDI differs from SSI in that it is designed to offer assistance to people based on work history, and functions more like an “insurance” payment earned through credits.
If you want to know more about SSDI disability qualifications, you can check out the SSA website.
Final Word: SSI Disability Qualifications
While filing an appeal is usually a good idea if you’ve been denied SSI benefits the first time around, the process can be lengthy, delaying the often vital assistance SSI can provide to you and your family.
Our team of experienced and reputable Social Security Disability attorneys have extensive experience with SSI appeals, and will strive to help you receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which you are entitled. For help with your SSI or SSDI benefits in North Carolina, schedule your free consultation with Van Camp, Meacham & Newman today.