Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who Qualifies for SSI Disability Benefits?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based disability program that is administered by Social Security. What do I mean by “need-based” disability program? Simply that the SSI disability program is similar to other Social programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, in that individuals filing for SSI disability benefits may qualify for disability benefits if they are under certain income and resource limits.

Individuals do not have to have worked enough to be considered insured (as is the case with title II benefits, otherwise known as social security disability) to file for SSI. In fact, children can file for SSI disability. However children must be found, through an examination of their medical records, medically disabled, and may not receive a monthly disability benefit unless their parents meet certain income and resource limits.

Who qualifies for SSI disability benefits? SSI disability claimants must go through the same disability medical determination process as individuals who file for Social Security disability benefits. In that sense, there is no difference between SSD and SSI. However, SSI as we said is need-based; therefore, anyone with low enough income and resources may potentially qualify for SSI disability.

After an SSI disability claimant's case has been evaluated and it has been determined that the individual is disabled, their disability claim is sent back to the local Social Security office, for an end line interview. During the end line interview, the Social Security claims representative reviews your income (work activity, long term disability benefits, unemployment, workman’s compensation, etc.) and resources (land, vehicles, cash, trust funds, stocks, bonds, 401K, etc.). Resources, or assets, are limited to $2000.00, i.e. if you have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets you will not be considered eligible for SSI (countable assets, however, do not include the residence you actually live and your primary vehicle).

To answer the question with which we started, you will qualify for SSI disability benefits if you meet the yearly income and resource limits, and are determined to be medically disabled by to the rules and regulations of the Social Security disability program.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog


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