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If you are struggling to make ends meet due to a lack of income stemming from a serious disability or advanced age, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) could be crucial to stabilizing your monthly finances. However, not everyone is eligible to obtain these benefits, and even those who are may find it difficult to confirm their eligibility based on SSA’s numerous and often-confusing criteria.
If you have questions about whether these government assistance payments may be available to you, a Norwalk SSI eligibility lawyer could provide the answers you may need. If you are eligible, your dedicated SSI attorney could work diligently on your behalf to ensure your application is comprehensive and accurate to pursue the financial benefits you deserve under current federal policy.
There are three specific categories of people for whom SSI is meant to provide support:
To be eligible for SSI, applicants must also have U.S. citizenship—with exceptions for certain specially qualified aliens (typically refugees)—and maintain permanent residency in a U.S. state or territory without any absence longer than 30 consecutive days.
According to the SSA’s definition, “blindness” entails 20/200 central visual acuity for distance even with corrective lens and/or substantial loss of peripheral vision beyond 20 degrees from center in the better eye. A knowledgeable Norwalk SSI eligibility attorney could provide more specific clarification about how the SSA rates blindness in this regard, as well as assistance with pursuing an SSI application based on less severe blindness that may, nevertheless, meet the criteria to constitute a disability.
What counts as a “disability” for SSI purposes is slightly different for adult applicants over 18 compared to child applicants under 18. For an adult applicant, an eligible disability is one that prohibits any “substantial gainful activity,” has lasted or is expected to persist for at least 12 continuous months, and/or will directly result in the applicant’s premature death. For a child, instead of tracking employment capacity, any condition that creates at least two “marked and severe functional limitations” may make them eligible for government benefit funds.
There are a few situations under which someone who meets all the core SSI eligibility requirements noted above would still not be qualified to receive benefits. For example, SSI is not available to anyone who is currently confined at the government’s expense in a hospital, prison, or any other similar institution. Individuals with unsatisfied felony warrants or any warrant for fleeing confinement or prosecution are also ineligible for this kind of assistance.
Most importantly, though, SSI applicants must have both “limited income” and “limited resources” to qualify for benefits—not counting certain exempt sources of income—plus up to only $2,000 in resources for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Support from a committed SSI eligibility lawyer in Norwalk can be especially crucial when it comes to calculating countable and non-countable income prior to completing an application.
Determining eligibility for SSI benefits is rarely a simple endeavor, as there are extensive rules—and exceptions to those rules—that must be taken into account during the process. Without guidance from experienced legal counsel, you may find it challenging to determine whether filing an application is even worthwhile.
A conversation with a diligent Norwalk SSI eligibility lawyer could be the first step towards obtaining the benefits you deserve. Call today for a consultation.