What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Answers about Disability Benefits for People in Binghamton & across Upstate New York

Maybe it’s been tough for you to stay in jobs. Your health keeps getting in the way. Or you used to work, but it’s been a long time.

Money is always short, and it’s hard.

For people with difficult health problems and spotty work histories, financial relief can come in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

SSI provides monthly financial assistance and qualifies you for Medicaid health coverage.

It is one of two disability benefits programs run by Social Security. The other one, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI), requires you to have a substantial recent work record before becoming unable to work.

But you don’t need that with SSI. You need to show Social Security two things:

  • Your medical conditions qualify.
  • You are within the financial requirements for the program.

A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with this system—and you don’t pay a fee until you win benefits.

Lachman & Gorton Law Office has helped thousands of people for over 40 years. If you’re in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, across Upstate New York or in Central New York, talk to us about how you can get on more stable financial ground with SSI, and how we can help.

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Health Requirements to Qualify for SSI

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income requires looking at your health problems from a certain angle.

These are the basic medical requirements for SSI:

  • You’re unable to work because of health problems.
  • Those medical problems will last at least a year, or for the rest of your life.
  • Or you live with blindness.
  • Or you are 65 or older and meet the financial requirements.

Almost any kind of health problem you can think of can qualify you for SSI. Physical and mental health problems both qualify.

What matters is that your medical conditions must be severe enough to make it impossible for you to work.

And you can’t just tell Social Security that you have such a medical condition.

You have to give them information to back it up. That can include medical records and reports from your doctors and statements from people who know you.

You can get a disability attorney to help you with this. An experienced lawyer knows the rules, how to find the information you need, and how to explain your situation to Social Security.

At Lachman & Gorton, you can start with a no-commitment consultation on your case and what you’ll need for a successful claim.

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Financial Requirements to Qualify for SSI

Supplemental Security Income also is designed for people with limited financial resources. (Unlike SSDI, which doesn’t care how much you own or have coming in from other sources, only that you can’t earn money from work anymore.)

These are the basic financial qualifications for SSI as of 2022:

  • Your income from working is less than $1,767 per month for an individual.
  • Your working income is less than $2,607 as a couple.
  • Your income from benefits programs or investments is less than $861 per month as a single person.
  • Your non-working income is less than $1,281 as a couple.
  • You own $2,000 or less worth of possessions for an individual.
  • You own $3,000 or less as a couple.
  • Savings may count toward your limits, but not a home you own, household supplies, or various other types of property or compensation that SSI allows as exceptions.

The amount of money you receive from SSI once you’re approved changes from year to year.

The payment you could get from the federal government was up to $841 per month for a single person in 2022 or $1,261 for a couple.

New York State also provides a supplement that can add to your monthly payment. That amount changes depending on your income level, living situation and county where you live.

The monthly checks you can get from SSI help you pay for essential needs—and give you an increased sense of security so you can rest easier.

But Social Security makes it difficult to get benefits, using tough standards for whether your health problems reach the level of qualifying as a disability. Social Security denies most people at first.

A disability lawyer can serve as your guide through the process.

Talk to Lachman & Gorton, and start moving toward financial relief.

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National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
United States District Court of Northern and Western Districts
Broome County Bar Association