Supplemental Security Income (SSI) differs from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in that SSI payments are made from the general funds of the United States Treasury whereas SSDI benefits are paid from the Social Security Trust Fund. Accordingly, no previous work history is required. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must have little or no income and meet any of the following three criteria:
- Age 65 or older.
- Disabled (according to SSA’s definition of “disabled”).
Technically Qualifying for SSI Benefits
Strict financial limitations mean that you will need to have little-to-no income to qualify for SSI benefits. If you have a spouse who works and earns income, you will not qualify for SSI. You cannot earn more than $735 per month and qualify for SSI, or earn more than $1,103 per month and qualify as a couple.
Additionally, you cannot have a high amount of assets to qualify for SSI. Assets will include cash, stocks, bonds, and even life insurance. They will also include a second home or a second car. Assets will not include a primary home or car, or personal items, such as a wedding ring. An individual cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, or $3,000 if married.
Deciding to Apply for SSI Benefits
Applying for SSI benefits can be challenging. Additionally, there is a high chance your claim will be denied. One of your best bets would be to get in contact with a qualified Social Security disability attorney. He or she can evaluate your claim, help you start the application process, and defend your case in court in the chance that it is denied.
You can get more information by speaking to an attorney, but even before that, by filling out a free evaluation form. Get all the information you can about your case to improve your chances of winning.