Why Was I Denied Supplemental Security Income?

May 1, 2015

When you are hurt or sick and cannot work anymore, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. But if you are hurt or ill and you:
  • Are at least 65 years old
  • Are permanently blind
  • Have a child with a disability which prevents him/her from working
  • Have little to no income

Then you can apply for Supplemental Security Income, which will give you money to take care of your basic necessities, like shelter, food and clothing. Not everyone who applies for SSI will be granted those benefits, however, which is why the Social Security Administration offers a Benefit Eligibility Screen Tool, or B.E.S.T., a free online tool that can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

So what are the most common reasons you may be denied SSI benefits? According to the B.E.S.T site:

  • You do not fit any of the minimum requirements. If you are not 65 years old, disabled or blind, you cannot qualify for Supplemental Secuirty Income on your own.
  • You make too much money. If you have too much income or too many assets, you cannot qualify for SSI because the benefits are needs based. If you surpass the limit, you may not be eligible.
  • You are not a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted non-citizen. SSI benefits are only available to people who live in this country legally.
  • You do not live in the U.S or the Northern Mariana Islands. If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you cannot apply for SSI benefits. You must be in the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands (like in Puerto Rico) to be eligible.
  • You are currently incarcerated. People who live in jail or prison, or children who are under 18 but currently live in a juvenile correctional facility, are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income.

If you do not fall into these categories and have still been denied SSI benefits, you should seek the help of a skilled Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer. Larry Pitt & Associates helps people throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties through the process of applying for disability benefits and SSI benefits. If your claim has been denied, we want to help you. Contact our firm today to find out more.