At age 52, Harry found himself unable to work because of debilitating arthritis. Sally’s son, Liam, was born with congenital birth defects. She finds it difficult to pay monthly expenses and cover his medical bills. Louis is semi-retired at age 65. He can still work a little, but not enough to support himself and his wife, Clara. Any one of these individuals might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In fact, they should be asking whether they can get SSI. However, they need to know that the benefits are available and how to get them. That’s what we will look at in this article.
To find out if you can get SSI, ask yourself the following questions.
Are you age 65 OR blind OR disabled?
If so, you probably meet the first criteria for SSI eligibility. Keep going to find out if you meet Social Security Administration (Social Security) guidelines.
Do you have limited income and resources?
Because SSI is a needs-based program, this step is a little more complicated. You’ll need to know the current SSI limits for income and resources.
In 2020, those limits are:
- Income: Social Security considers ‘income’ to be “any item an individual receives in cash or in-kind’ that you use to meet your needs for food and shelter. However, there are several types of income, including deemed income that is based on people living in your household. Social Security uses complicated criteria and formulas to calculate your countable income, then adjusts your benefits accordingly.
- Resources: Your ‘countable’ resources cannot be worth more than $2,000 for a single individual and $3,000 for a married couple. Keep in mind, however, that Social Security does not count all of your resources. Some are exempt, like the home you live in and household goods.
An experienced SSI attorney can offer advice on how to get below the income and resource limits and stay there.
Are you a citizen or a national of the United States?
Only citizens, nationals, and aliens who meet certain guidelines are eligible to get SSI benefits. If you meet these criteria, keep going. Where you live also matters when Social Security assesses whether you can get SSI or not.
Can you get SSI as an eligible resident?
To get SSI benefits, you must:
“Reside in one of the 50 States, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands, except for a child of military parent(s) assigned to permanent duty anywhere outside the United States or certain students temporarily abroad.”
If you meet these criteria also, it might be time for you to apply for benefits.
However, there are a few other factors that may affect your eligibility, including marital status and monthly income.
Not Sure Whether You Can Get SSI?
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. From our office located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.