Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal benefit program created to provide resources for the elderly, blind and disabled who have little to no income. This need-based program is similar to Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), but it is funded through general taxes not Social Security taxes. The benefits available through SSI are intended to provide for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Those who receive other Social Security benefits may also be eligible for SSI benefits.
Applying for SSI Benefits
Establishing your eligibility for SSI benefits is two-fold. First you must demonstrate your general eligibility because of your age, disability or blindness. In general, you qualify for these benefits if:
- You are totally blind or have very bad eyesight (20/200 vision in the best eye with correction) or,
- You are an adult who is unable to work because of a severe physical or mental disability or,
- You have a child whose disability prevents him or her from leading a normal life or,
- You are 65 years old or older
Next you must demonstrate your financial eligibility. There are numerous rules that determine whether or not a claimant is financially qualified to receive SSI benefits. There are eligibility limits on both resources (assets and property you own) and income. Some types of resources and income are not counted, however. These include:
- The value of your home, regardless of the value
- The value of your car if it is used as transportation to your job, to medical treatment, for a disabled person or for daily activities.
- The value of our car up to $4,500
- Grants and scholarships for education expenses
- Government assistance
- Income tax refunds
- Assistance from charities and non-profits
Figuring out whether or not you qualify for SSI benefits and going through the application process can be challenging. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney to assist you with your claim is can make it much easier. At Ankin Law Office, our attorneys are experienced in handling both SSDI and SSI claims. Our firm can help you with an initial application or an appeal. We operate throughout Illinois including Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria counties. Contact us to schedule a consultation.