The umbrella of Social Security extends financial protection to many Americans. Many may not realize, however, that two different types of benefits operate to serve an entirely different set of individuals with altogether different needs. One of them, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), is intended to help some of the neediest among us.
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must meet multiple criteria. Applicants must have attained age 65 and suffer from blindness or other medical disability that prevents employment and either lasts more than one year or is expected to result in death. Children who satisfy the second requirement may also eligible for benefits. Second, they must have applied for all benefits for which they are eligible. Finally, applicants must prove they are United States citizens and that they have resided in one of the 50 states for the past 30 days. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance and retirement benefits, your prior work history does not factor into the amount of SSI benefits you can receive.
Ohio offers a supplemental security program that supplements federal SSI. Not unlike its federal counterpart, age, income and resource requirements apply. Resources refer to anything convertible to cash, such as stocks, bonds and savings. For those with an Achieving Better Life Experiences (ABLE) account, the resource requirement exempts the first $100,000. Automatic qualification for Medicaid comes with SSI benefits eligibility.
Physical disabilities strain not only the body, but also the pocketbook. Unexpected injuries at work or those suffered by a child can change priorities in an instant. In these situations, attorneys with knowledge of federal Social Security programs can offer guidance.