Many Indiana residents are probably familiar with Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) which provide monthly payments to individuals with a qualifying disability.
Benefits from another program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may also be available for older people, or people of any age struggling with a disability that makes them unable to work.
The SSI program provides monthly payments to individuals who qualify for the program. The application process can be lengthy and complicated, so before you apply, it is best that you understand the eligibility criteria to know what your chances are of receiving benefits.
SSI benefits are available to adults over the age of 65, or adults of any age who are blind or have a disability. There are many different things that qualify as a disability, but some that do not, so it might help to speak with an attorney who focuses on SSI to learn if your condition qualifies.
Children under the age of 18 can also receive SSI benefits if they have a physical or mental condition or live in a low-income household. The physical or mental condition must be one that seriously limits daily activities for 1 year or more or could result in death.
These are the basic requirements. Once these are met, you must meet certain income and asset requirements.
You must be under specific maximum income limits to obtain SSI. These limits can change each year, and they are different depending on if you are single or married.
Income includes many things aside from just wages from a job. It also includes unemployment, pension or workers’ compensation benefits you are receiving, and any money you get from family or friends.
Additionally, the value of any housing or food you receive for free could be counted as income. For example, if you pay no rent through a subsidized housing program and receive food stamps, you might be deemed to have some income.
Be honest in your application
It is extremely important to be honest when you are applying for SSI benefits. It may be tempting to exclude money from family members who help you out, or wages you receive “under the table.”
However, the Social Security Administration has ways of verifying income, and if you are caught giving incorrect information or not reporting income, you could be required to pay back the amount of any benefits you received.
In addition to income, you must be under a certain asset threshold to qualify for SSI. Your home is not counted as an asset, which is fortunate, because this is many people’s main asset.
Your vehicle could also be excluded, but any other assets, such as bank accounts, investments or cash be included as an asset.
As you can see, the application process is not always straightforward. There are many different factors that are considered, and everyone’s situation is unique.
When you apply, it is best to have help from a legal professional. This can help you avoid problems, and you can have your questions answered as you go through the process.