Many SSI disability applicants want to know, “How difficult is it to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?” Unfortunately, whether you are applying for SSI or SSDI benefits it can be tough. Consider, last year alone there were over 3 million applications, so even if you have a great SSI case, you are in a long line behind other disability applicants to have your case reviewed. Even if the cases are not good cases they still have to be reviewed and discarded, which takes hours of processing time for a limited number of Social Security Administration disability examiners.
Additionally, millions of applications are incomplete or inaccurate which also takes hours of time for them to contact the SSA applicants and get additional information. This is one reason why it is so important to make sure your SSI application has all the necessary information.
Now, that we have talked about general reasons that the process may be difficult, let’s address the specific requirements to qualify for SSI and why so many SSI disability applicants will not qualify.
What will I have to prove to get SSI?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is provided to the aged (65 years or older), blind or disabled who are not considered “insured” by the Federal Government but need cash assistance to meet their minimum monthly expenses.
Supplemental Security Income is a “needs” based program and is only provided to claimants who have VERY limited income and resources and who meet additional non-economic considerations. You might know this to be supplemental social security insurance, but the proper term is Supplemental Security Income.
If you have applied for SSI it is because you have not worked and paid enough into the SSA system to accrue enough “work credits” to be considered insured by the Social Security Administration and you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Given that you have to prove you are 100% disabled, that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity and you have to have VERY limited income and resources it can be tough to prove that you meet the requirement of the SSI program.
How difficult is the appeal process if I am denied SSI benefits?
If you are denied SSI benefits the appeal process can also be long and complicated. The first step in the appeals process is the reconsideration and while this only entails completing a few forms, which is simple enough, most claimants are denied a second time at this level.
If you file another appeal after your second SSI denial then you may have to wait months for a disability hearing. In many parts of the country the hearing case loads which are pending number in the hundreds and may be divided among only 5 to 10 Administrative Law Judges.
So how difficult will it be for you to get SSI? Between the requirements and the millions of applications the process can be VERY difficult.