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If you search the website of the Social Security Administration, you’ll find several things they say you should know about your SSI eligibility. A few are very clear and straightforward, and you must meet them exactly as stated. For example:

  • You need to be a U.S. citizen, national, or in a certain category of alien.
  • You have to live in the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands.

Unfortunately, people who don’t meet both of those requirements simply won’t be eligible for SSI benefits and should look into whether they qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or other benefits.

Other “requirements,” however, are not as strict and are subject to interpretation. For example, while the definition of blindness is very specific, the term “disability” covers a wide range of conditions. Even if you don’t meet the textbook definition of what you think it means to be “disabled,” you might be able to prove that your conditions prevent you from being able to work and earn a living. You also have to know exactly what the eligibility requirements are for income and resources as it may still be possible for someone who is a bit more financially secure to find a way to qualify.

Talk to a Chicago Lawyer SSDI vs. SSI Eligibility

One key thing you need to understand about your SSI eligibility is that it’s completely different from SSDI eligibility. Some people mistakenly believe that if they are not eligible for SSDI, they do not have another option, but this is simply not true. While SSDI is a payroll-funded program that requires you to have earned “credits” for working a certain number of years, SSI is a general tax-funded program that is strictly need based and has nothing to do with your work history. If you’re still unsure whether you meet the requirements for either of these programs, you should talk to an attorney who understands SSI eligibility inside and out.

Call Richard I. Feingold to learn more about your SSI eligibility today and start planning your strategy. Or if you want more information first, stay informed by signing up for our newsletter and checking out our free resources page.