A burning question on your mind when you look into Supplemental Security Income from the government is going to be if you qualify or not. Your SSI Attorney Cleveland can answer all of your questions to determine if you are eligible. SSI is a very specific program that is designed to help people who fall into a very specific category. It is not a general disability benefits program.
Instead, it is a federal income supplement program that has nothing to do with Social Security taxes. In fact, it is funded by federal taxes. The program was designed to help a specific group of people with little or no income that meet their basic needs.
The program provides money for cash, food and shelter. It is a supplemental income – it is not designed it to be used as a primary retirement income for people. When we say retirement, we are talking about age as one of the requirements. One of the requirements is that you must be 65 years old.
To qualify for the program you must:
- be at least 65 years old
- be blind
- be disabled
This is the first set of qualifications. If you do not fall into this category of people, then you are not eligible for SSI. However, if you do belong to this group, there are more requirements you must meet.
You must also:
- be a resident of one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands
- not be absent from the country for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days or more
- not be confined to an institution (such as a hospital or prison) at the government’s expense
- you must apply for any other cash benefits or payments for which you may be eligible, (for example, pensions, Social Security benefits)
- you must give the Social Security Administration permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about you
- you must file an application
- meet other certain requirements as needed.
Go through this list carefully. “Disabled” means that you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, (including an emotional or learning problem) that:
- results marked and severe functional limitations; and
- can be expected to result in death; or
- has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
There are two places you can go to figure out if your case qualifies for SSI. The first one is called the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST), and the other one is directly applying with the Social Security office online. The Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool taking between 5 and 10 minutes to complete and will give you an excellent idea if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income.
To find out if you qualify, talk to your SSI Disability Lawyers Cleveland.