Can I collect SSI? - Eligibility Criteria for SSI


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Can I collect SSI?

Published on November 17th, 2017 by Eric Slepian

People who are disabled and cannot work are often eligible to receive some type of financial support. However, there are different types of support available, which people fail to recognize.

For instance, if you or a loved one is disabled and cannot work, you might think that collecting benefits through Social Security Disability insurance is your only option. But in reality, a number of people do not qualify for SSDI because they have not accumulated enough work credits. Under these circumstances, you should examine the eligibility criteria for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.

What is SSI?

SSI is a program that provides financial support to people who are disabled and who have limited resources and income. While it sounds similar to SSDI, SSI is different in at least a few important ways.

First, SSDI requires a person to have paid into the system through payroll taxes; SSI does not. Second, SSI applicants will need to meet means requirements that SSDI applicants do not, as SSI is a program that is available only to people of limited resources. Finally, the amount you receive through SSI will not be contingent on lifetime earnings, as is the case with SSDI.

How does a person qualify?

In order to qualify for SSI, a person must:

  • Be disabled, blind or older than 65
  • Have less than $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 as a couple
  • Meet residency and citizenship requirements

You must also apply for these benefits; they are not granted automatically.

What if I am not eligible?

If you or a loved one is disabled but are not eligible for SSI, then there may be other sources of financial benefits and compensation to consider. Again, there are different types of support available.

Whether you are eligible for SSI, SSDI or other benefits, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney. Not only can he or she help you identify the programs for which you may qualify, but a legal representative can also help you build a solid application and navigate the necessary legal steps and government systems.

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