As a previous post here mentioned, it is important to understand which disability benefits plan administered by the Social Security Administration an applicant might qualify for. Otherwise, California residents may find themselves wasting time and effort applying for benefits they could not receive and then becoming too disheartened from applying from the ones they potentially could. The differences between Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security income were pointed out in a previous post, but it is important to understand the specific criteria of eligibility for SSI benefits.
Similar to SSD benefits, SSI is available to those who are disabled. However, SSI is not dependent on a person's work history. People who have limited income and limited resources are eligible to receive SSI benefits if the applicant is either an American citizen or a national, or in certain categories of aliens. Additionally, the applicant should be residing in one of the 50 American states, District of Columbia or the Northern Mariana Islands and should not have left the country for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days or more.
The applicant should give the SSA permission to contact financial institutions to give information about the applicant and needs to file an application. Additionally, the person should not be confined to an institution, such as a hospital or a prison, at the government's expense.
Even those under the age of 18 can be considered disabled if they meet certain requirements set out by the SSA, such as having a physical or mental impairment that results in severe and marked functional limitations. The definition of "disabled" for the purposes of SSI is the same as for SSD, which is why it might be beneficial to get the right information to ensure the correct documents are gathered and submitted in an applicant for benefits.