** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on May…
Am I Entitled to Supplemental Security Income?
The Supplemental Security Income program, known as SSI, is a federally administered program.
Unlike Medicare or Medicaid, SSI is a federal welfare program that pays monthly cash benefits to individuals who fall within 1 of 3 categories:
- Aged – over the age of 65;
- Blind – total blindness, or minimal vision that is incapable of correction; or
- Disabled – persons who are unable to perform any gainful employment based on a medical or mental condition that is expected to last for at least one year. The SSI definition of “disabled” is the same definition that is used for Medicaid and Social Security.
SSI is a means-tested program. An individual is entitled to have $2,000 in non-exempt resources. This means an individual may not have resources in excess of $2,000, or they will be ineligible for SSI. In addition, they have to qualify as disabled in order to meet the second prong of the test.
An individual with special needs who is over the age of 18, has no assets over the $2,000 limit, and is considered to be disabled and/or blind under the Social Security definition, would be eligible for SSI.
A young man has had disabilities from a very young age. As time progresses, his parents realize he will not be able to work in a traditional workforce setting based on his disability, but they want him to be as independent as possible. This monthly income may assist him financially.
SSI was created to provide a “safety net of minimum monthly income to supplement Social Security or other types of income by the aged, blind or disabled.” If you believe that you or someone you know may be eligible for SSI, it is important to contact your attorney to determine whether that person is, in fact, entitled to this very important program. Contact us with questions or comments.
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