The requirements for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) include being fully disabled and having total income and assets that fall below certain thresholds. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets these thresholds each year.
If you meet the disability requirements for SSI but make too much money for approval, you might qualify for the SSA’s other disability program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI has the same medical requirements as SSI, but the SSA does not restrict these benefits only to those with limited financial resources.
An accomplished disability lawyer from the Disability Advantage Group, can evaluate both your medical and financial records to determine if you have a reasonable chance of getting approved for SSI, SSDI, or both.
We can put together a thorough, compelling claim for benefits on your behalf, one that makes the extent of your disability—as well as your financial need—abundantly clear. We will work our hardest to get you the benefits you need to care for yourself and your family.
For a free consultation with one of our disability lawyers, call our office today at 865-566-0800.
What Are the Medical Requirements for SSI?
For the SSA to approve your condition for benefits, we must do one of two things:
- Demonstrate that your condition meets the criteria for a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book; or
- Demonstrate that your condition and its impact on your work capacity are functionally equivalent to a Blue Book listing.
The Blue Book is the master list of medical conditions that the SSA considers disabling. If your condition is in the Blue Book, you stand a good chance of qualifying for disability benefits, provided your diagnosis meets all the criteria listed for the given condition.
For instance, if you are applying for benefits based on a kidney ailment, you must meet the medical criteria for your condition listed in the Blue Book. These might require you to submit lab tests showing that your creatinine levels, for instance, exceed a certain threshold.
If your condition does not meet a Blue Book listing, you can still qualify for benefits. We can help you build a strong case that you deserve them.
One way we do this is by completing a residual functional capacity (RFC) test. This evaluation, which your doctor completes, provides objective data not only on your diagnosis, but on the specific ways in which your condition has a direct impact on your life. Your RFC will demonstrate your ability to work and carry out activities of daily living.
What Are the Income and Asset Requirements for SSI?
SSI is a program exclusively for the needy. It is means-tested and only those with demonstrated financial hardship qualify for SSI benefits.
If your income or assets exceed certain thresholds, you will not qualify for SSI. Instead, we can help you apply for SSDI benefits.
As of 2017, SSDI’s monthly income limit stands at $735. You do not have to report every dollar you make, however. For instance:
- You can deduct the first $65 of earned income each month—as in, money you make from work—as well as half of your earned income above $65;
- You do not have to include the value of your food stamp benefits;
- You generally do not need to report irregular or infrequent income;
- Income tax refund checks do not count toward SSI’s limit;
- You may exclude scholarships and certain other educational benefits, as well as food or shelter assistance from certain nonprofits and charities; and
- If you receive income in the form of a loan that you agree to repay, you do not have to count it.
To qualify for SSI, your total assets may not exceed $2,000 for a single person or $3,000 for a married couple.
Again, you can exclude certain assets from this limit. For instance, you do not have to count:
- The house you live in;
- Your primary vehicle;
- A life insurance policy with a face value below $1,500;
- A burial fund worth $1,500 or less; and
- Certain household items.
What If I Do Not Qualify for the SSI Program?
If you do not qualify for SSI because your disability does not meet the SSA’s requirements, you still have options. If we have a good reason to believe the SSA denied your application in error, we can appeal your case.
If your disability meets the SSA’s requirements but your income or assets are too high for SSI, then you may qualify for SSDI. If you meet the program’s work history requirements, we can put together a strong SSDI application on your behalf.
Call 865-566-0800 to Schedule a Free Consultation With an SSI Attorney.
At the Disability Advantage Group, we want to help you get disability benefits. For a free consultation with an attorney, call us today at 865-566-0800.