SSI is different. SSI uses a “limited resource test” instead of insurance. That is because the SSI program is not a disability insurance program but a federal welfare program. There is a limit on the amount of "assets" a claimant may have in order to receive any payment at all. SSA allows an individual to have up to $2,000 in assets or $3,000 if there is a couple (which means that the couples are two SSI qualified individuals living together). Some of the assets which are excluded from SSA’s include: the individual’s home; one wedding ring and engagement ring; personal possession and household goods; burial spaces and burial funds up to $1,500; life insurance policies with a face value of less than $1,500; one car; retroactive SSI or Title II benefits for up to nine months after receipt. In addition, a fugitive felon or a person in jail or prison and some aliens may not receive SSI benefits.
In addition to the normal SSI claim, there are two variants of SSI cases. One variant is children’s disability benefits. A child is entitled to SSI benefits if that child has “a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which results in marked or severe functional limitations and that, is expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months. (See further 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(3)(C)(i).) A second variant is “statutory blindness” which is defined as central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of correcting lens. In addition to meeting the statutory definition of blindness, the claimant’s blindness must have latest or be reasonably expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months. (See further 42 U.S.C. § 1382c(a)(2).)
If you would like to know more about your rights, please read our guidelines on social security disability, or let us help you. Contact us today for a free initial legal consultation via our web site, or telephone us at 800.296.2290 toll free or 765-644-8410 in Indiana.