Financial and Medical Requirements for Disability Benefits that Everyone Should Know

by | May 18, 2016 | Lawyers

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Often, people find themselves in a situation where they can no longer work due to a sickness or injury. It is at times like this when receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be helpful. However, not just anyone can receive these benefits. There are financial and medical requirements that must be met first. If you are considering filing for disability benefits, make sure you meet the following qualifications.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  financial qualifications
The SSA puts financial limitations on applicants who receive disability benefits. There are no minimum work requirements to qualify for SSI disability benefits, but recipients must be at least 65 years old, be legally blind, or disabled, and have total family assets that amount to less than $3,000. The SSA considers assets to be a combination of wages, pensions, and other monetary sources. Income limits for SSI applicants are $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 per month for couples. However, the SSA does not count the first $20 of each type of income you receive every month. Other types of income that are not counted toward the limit include food stamps, tax refunds, public benefits based on need, and loans that the applicant must repay. Applicants can also deduct any disability-related expenses they incur. The SSA also has specific earned income exclusions that make it easier to apply for disability benefits. Social Security does not count the first $65 of income and only counts one half of all earnings over $65 a month for applicants who are working. With all of the various exclusions the SSA offers, an applicant can earn approximately $1,500 per month and still qualify for disability benefits.

Medical requirements for SSI
The SSA has specific criteria for determining which applicants are medically eligible for benefits. First, you must have a diagnosed medical impairment that prevents you from working at a level you were previously able to do. The condition must also meet the criteria for the disability that is contained in  in the SSA’s book of impairments. The qualifications for each disability are specific to each condition. The SSA will also take into consideration the severity and expected duration of the condition as well.

Applying for disability benefits can be a long and complicated process, but it helps to know and understand the qualifications from the outset. If you think you are eligible for SSI disability benefits in Cleveland, Ohio, your first step should be consulting an experienced and knowledgeable disability lawyer who can assist you through the entire process.