If you have a disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has two disability benefit programs in place to provide financial help for people with disabilities. These are the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This article discusses how it works and who can file a Social Security claim through SSI for disability benefits.
What is SSI?
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal disability program in the United States that’s designed to provide additional income for older and disabled people with little to no income. It’s a type of safety net for American nationals who cannot meet their basic needs due to disability or old age.
Through the SSI program, recipients are given monthly cash distributions to help them meet their fundamental needs. SSI payments are made on the first of every month and include Medicaid benefits and food stamps in most states
Who can apply?
To be eligible to receive benefits, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria for SSI disability benefits.
- You must either be blind, disabled or aged 65 years and older.
- You must be either a US national or a citizen of the United States.
- Your monthly income must not exceed the income limit.
- You must meet the residency requirements for your state if any.
Aside from these qualifications, you must also meet the SSA’s disability criteria. To determine whether medical conditions may be eligible for SSI benefits, the SSA evaluates your disability application by answering these five questions.
- Are you currently working?
- Are you unable to return to work due to the severity of your disability?
- Is your disability a disabling condition that prevents you from doing substantial gainful work?
- Are you unable to work at any of the jobs you’ve had in the past?
- Does your medical disability prevent you from doing any other type of work?
Disabled workers who are applying for benefits are considered eligible for benefits if they’re able to meet the SSA definition of disability. A local disability lawyer can help you determine whether you’re qualified to apply for disability benefits.
In some cases, a disabled child may also qualify for disability benefits. For children under 18 years old, the SSI defines disability as physical or mental impairments causing severe functional limitations, with the medical condition being expected to last for at least a year or result in death.
What are the limits?
The income limit to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits and the maximum payments for Supplemental Security Income benefits are both outlined by the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). This moderately increases each year in conjunction with the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment to track inflation.
To be qualified to receive benefits from Social Security disability programs, the income of a disabled person or couple cannot exceed the monthly SSI payment stated by the FBR. However, it’s important to note that only certain earnings count towards the limit for an applicant’s income. If you’re unsure whether you exceed the SSA income limits, make sure to speak with a disability lawyer.
What to do?
If you’re considering applying for disability benefits, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced disability attorney. Having legal help in preparing your disability claim ensures that you meet the eligibility criteria and increases the likelihood of getting your claim approved. Contact us at Farmer & Wright, PLLC, and schedule a free consultation today!