The Social Security system is elaborate and complicated. Many people who are in a position to request benefits will often find that they are overwhelmed, confused and stressed out by all that is required, and this can make life even more difficult for people who are already struggling with financial strain and health problems.
Right off the bat, it can be a challenge to determine whether you or a family member qualifies for benefits. In this post, we will take a look at what the eligibility requirements are for those pursuing Supplemental Security Income. Hopefully, this broad overview will help readers better understand what they need to know before applying.
To begin with, it can be important for people to know that they must have limited income and resources to qualify for SSI. Unlike Social Security disability insurance, SSI recipients do not have to have contributed to Social Security through employment taxes to qualify, as SSI is not funded by these taxes.
Recipients of SSI must meet certain physical requirements. According to the Social Security Administration, to collect SSI a person must be:
- blind, or
- over the age of 65.
Establishing that you fit into one of these categories is not enough, however. A person must also meet citizenship requirements, and have limited income and resources. The financial guidelines can be difficult to understand, but basically they mean that you may not earn over a certain amount and your resources as an individual cannot exceed $2,000.
Once you have a better idea of whether you qualify for SSI benefits, you can make a decision about how to proceed. Some people may choose to apply on their own, but this can result in avoidable delays and errors which can only make the situation that much more complicated.
In order to sidestep these obstacles, it can be a good idea to speak with an attorney who has experience navigating the Social Security system.