Many individuals who have a disabling injury that affects their ability to work find themselves forced to file for either Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to support themselves — or both.
Ultimately, when you file your application for benefits, the claims representative handling your case will look to see if you seem to meet the eligibility requirements. Understanding a little more about them in advance, however, could ease your mind.
Which requirements must you meet to be eligible for SSI?
In general, to file for SSI benefits you must:
- You must allege that you are disabled, blind or over 65 years of age
- You must generally be a resident of the United States (with very narrow exceptions)
- You must not be a resident of a government-funded institution (hospitals or prisons, usually)
- You cannot be a fugitive from the law
- Your income and resources must be below certain limits
It’s important to understand that SSI is a needs-based program, so your entire household’s income and resources can factor into your eligibility for benefits, depending on the relationship of the parties involved.
If you meet the basic eligibility requirements, the remainder of the approval process follows the same pattern as a Social Security Disability application process: You must submit information about your disability, your medical sources, your treatments and your limitations and see if you meet the government’s definition of “disabled” before your claim is approved (unless you are 65 years of age or older).
If you’re struggling to win the approval of your disability claim, it may be time to seek some experienced legal assistance.