Do I qualify for SSI?
There are a couple steps in deciding whether you qualify for SSI:
Am I disabled?
Just like applying for SSDI, one must qualify as “disabled” to be eligible for SSI. Social Security defines this as having a severe impairment, either physical or mental, that prevents them from performing substantial gainful activity. The impairment must last for at least 12 months, or be expected to last at least 12 months. This process is managed by Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS first determines whether your condition is severe. They then decide whether it matches one of their listed disability conditions (referred to sometimes as their “blue book”). Next they determine whether the claimant can perform the functions of their last job. If they determine that you cannot do your last job, they then decide whether you can perform any other type of job that fits your physical and mental limitations, age, education, and skills.
Do I have limited income or resources?
Because SSI is needs-based, one must make less than the threshold amount of countable income to be eligible for benefits. This limit is $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples.