Who is Eligible for Supplemental Security Income?
March 8, 2018
Millions of individuals in our society suffer from long-term mental or physical disabilities that inhibit them from working. For those in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania who are disabled and meet the requirements for financial assistance according to the Social Security Administration, supplemental security income (SSI) is available.
This income is provided in order to help individuals meet their basic needs such as shelter and food. The maximum available SSI monthly payment changes each year, but for 2018 it is $750 for a single person, $1125 for a couple, and $376 for an essential person.
Persons qualifying for SSI
The SSA created the supplemental security income program to assist people with little to zero income and resources. The individuals this program is designed to help include:
As a blind person you may qualify for SSI benefits if you meet the following requirements:
- You have a central visual acuity in your better eye of 20/200 or less while wearing a corrective lens, OR
- You have visual field limitation such that the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle not greater than 20 degrees in your better eye
To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet certain established criteria for a particular condition, or prove that your condition is of such a severe nature that it prevents you from performing work functions, i.e. standing, sitting, squatting, etc.
Your condition must also:
- Have lasted for the previous 12 months, or
- Be expected to last for 12 months, or
- Be expected to result in death
Adults over 65 may qualify for and access SSI benefits regardless of whether they meet the SSA’s definition of total disability.
Low income qualification
A disabled individual or older adult may qualify for SSI benefits if he or she has a low enough existing monthly income. The amount available can vary depending on certain factors.
Having few assets qualification
An individual must have $2,000 or less in assets ($3,000 or less for a couple) in order to qualify for SSI. This asset calculation includes any partial interests in property or joint accounts owned. However, some assets the SSI program does not allow you to count include:
- A vehicle with a market value of $4,500 or less
- No market value limit is placed on a vehicle used for commuting or work, needed to access medical care, or specially designed and equipped for a disability
- A home the person lives in, regardless of its market value
- Household goods and personal property with a current value of $2,000 or less
- Expensive property required for medical assistance (i.e., special bed or wheelchair) is not counted
- Property used for work to support oneself (i.e., machines or tools) is not counted
- Life insurance policies having a face value of $1,500 or less per policyholder
- Engagement and wedding rings, regardless of their value
- Burial spaces and a funeral and burial fund – coverage up to $1,500
If you are disabled and need financial assistance in Philadelphia or throughout the state, SSI benefits can help you provide the necessities of life for you and your family. However, applying for benefits can be a time-consuming and often complex process.
Our Philadelphia SSI attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates can help you through this process and ensure your application is submitted in a complete and timely manner. We can help you prove your case for disability benefits. To get started, call us today at 888.PITT.LAW or email us through our contact form. We gladly serve Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.