Am I Eligible For Supplemental Security Income?

Feb 2 2017 - 7:45am

While my husband was under hospice care i went thru the application process for myself to get SSI for my disabilities. SSA deemed me disabled by their requirements but was told that i could not collect any benefits and/or medical care myself for the disabilities bcuz i was married. Now since the passing of my spouse i receive widows benefits as well as survivors benefits for the two minor children still at home which is divided between the three of us equally according to husbands maximum family benefit amount. Im able to get medicaid for children but not healthcare myself and my health is severely suffering from lack of ability to afford treatments/medications needs . Am i able to nowclaim SSI for myself since disabilities already determined so i would also get medicaid? Continue to receive survivors for boys split between them? Possibly allowed to receive RSDI again for myself at a later time if needed/wanted to return back to one program over the other ? I hope. That i am clear in the way I am attempting to relay my questions as its all so very confusing anyhow lol

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program. My guess is that if you're not eligible for Medicaid, then you wouldn't be eligible for SSI either, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to check with Social Security to see if you are eligible. The basic requirements for SSI are:
1) You must be either disabled, blind or age 65; and,
2) You can't have monthly income of $755 or more; and,
3) You can't have assets (excluding a home and a car) exceeding $2,000.

Another requirement is that you must file for all other benefits to which you are entitled, including Social Security, so you would not be able to stop drawing your survivor benefits in order to receive SSI instead. For more information on SSI benefits, refer to Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/.

You didn't mention applying for Social Security disability benefits, so I don't know whether or not you may be eligible for those. Unlike SSI, Social Security disability is not needs based, but you do need to meet the insured status requirements. To be insured, you normally must have at least the equivalent of 5 years worth of Social Security earnings credits within the 10 year period ending with the date you became disabled. If you think you might be eligible for disability benefits, it would likely be advantageous for you to apply now.

If you don't meet the requirements for Social Security disability benefits but you did work long enough to be insured for retirement benefits (i.e. you have at least 10 years worth of Social Security work credits), then you may have some other filing options in the future. The minimum age for reduced retirement benefits is age 62, so when you are nearing that point you may want to consider consulting the maximization software available on this website in order to explore your options.

Best, Jerry