Qualifying for Supplemental Social Security Income

There are a lot of articles about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) but that is only for people who have been gainfully employed for the requisite number of years but have been rendered totally or partially disabled, and either temporarily or permanently due to some event or sickness. There are a lot of people who will not qualify for SSDI, but who may qualify for Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 88 million Americans were unemployed in 2012. Of this number, 168,000 people were unemployed due to disability or illness, 909,000 were not trained or did not qualify for employment, and more than 2.5 million are currently unemployed, looking for but unable to find work. In some instances, Americans aged 65 and older were never part of the labor force because they took care of family members or worked in the family farm or similar, and are now without support and unable to find paid employment. These the unemployed for which the Supplemental Social Security Income was designed for.

The SSI is a federally-funded government program that provides stipends for low-income Americans who are aged 65 and above, disabled or blind. While it is part of the Social Security Act and administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the financing comes from the U.S. Treasury rather than the Social Security fund. It can be just as difficult to qualify as with SSDI.

An eligible SSI beneficiary has to satisfy income requirements and be a legal resident of the District of Columbia, any of the 50 US states, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Children of parents in the military who have been assigned permanently outside the US may also be able to apply for a Social Security benefit, as well as some students who may be abroad.

Because there are quite a few people who qualify for SSI, the SSA closely scrutinizes all applications. This leads to many applications being rejected, often for small errors in the way the forms were filled out. If you want to make all the right moves and get approved for SSI, you may want to put your faith in an experienced lawyer accustomed to dealing with the SSA. Getting approved for SSI will automatically qualify you for other federal assistance programs including hospitalization, food stamps and housing.

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