On Monday we discussed the different circumstances under which children may qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). One way children may be eligible for benefits is through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, a disability program that distributes benefits to people who are struggling financially. For adults, the SSI program evaluates applicants on whether they meet criteria in several key areas.
- Financial Status – Unlike the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, SSI requires that successful applicants not own more than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 jointly if you are married). Assets are anything you own with the exception of your home and vehicle. They therefore include all bank accounts, IRAs and other retirement accounts, insurance policies, luxury items and vehicles other than one necessary for transportation. Applicants usually have little to no income and be citizens of the United States or registered aliens.
- Disability Status – The applicant should be completely disabled by a condition or illness that renders them unable to gain or hold employment for over a year. People who suffer from blindness or severe vision problems may also qualify, as long as their visual impairment cannot be corrected or improved. According to the SSA, people who have vision problems but are not legally blind may still qualify if they have other conditions or issues that, in combination with their vision problems, prevent them from working.
- Age -Though most people who qualify for SSI do so because of their total disability and financial difficulties, some people over the age of 65 may qualify even if they are not completely disabled.
On Friday we will discuss the possibility of qualifying for both SSI and SSDI. Do you have questions about applying for disability benefits from the SSA? If so, contact our Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers for more information and a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404, so contact us today.