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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program that provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities and low income.

To qualify for SSI benefits if you are age 64 or younger, you must have a disability that:

  • Affects your ability to work for a year or more, or
  • Will result in death, or
  • Severely limits daily activity (for children with disabilities).

If you have a disability, you must prove you have earned less than $1,470 from work per month in the month you are applying. Individuals aged 65 or older do not need a disability to pursue SSI benefits.

Our Santa Barbara Supplemental Security Income attorneys at Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld have helped California residents pursue and successfully obtain the SSI benefits they are entitled to by law to live fuller lives since 1956. Let us help you understand your rights and options to pursue SSI benefits, starting with a free consultation.

How Can I Qualify for SSI Benefits?

To qualify for SSI benefits, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria, including having a disability or medical condition that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity and having limited financial resources.

Here are some common disabilities and medical conditions that may qualify individuals for SSI benefits:

  • Physical Disabilities
    • Amputations.
    • Cerebral palsy.
    • Multiple sclerosis.
    • Musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis or back problems.
    • Respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
    • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Mental Health Conditions
    • Anxiety disorders.
    • Autism spectrum disorders.
    • Bipolar disorder.
    • Major depressive disorder.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
    • Schizophrenia.
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
     
    • Autism.
    • Cerebral palsy.
    • Down syndrome.
    • Epilepsy.
       
  • Neurological Conditions
     
    • Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
    • Epilepsy.
    • Huntington’s disease.
    • Parkinson’s disease.
       
  • Sensory Impairments
     
    • Blindness or severe visual impairments.
    • Deafness or severe hearing impairments.
       
  • Chronic Illnesses
     
    • Cancer (in some cases).
    • HIV/AIDS,
    • Kidney disease.
    • Liver disease.
       
  • Autoimmune Disorders
     
    • Lupus.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Sjögren's syndrome.
       
  • Chronic Pain Conditions
     
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
    • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
    • Fibromyalgia.
       
  • Cardiovascular Conditions
     
    • Congestive heart failure.
    • Coronary artery disease.
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
       
  • Respiratory Conditions
     
    • Asthma.
    • Chronic bronchitis.
    • Interstitial lung disease.

It is important to note that the severity and impact of these conditions on an individual’s ability to work and earn a substantial income are significant factors in determining eligibility for SSI benefits. Additionally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific criteria and a detailed evaluation process to assess an individual’s eligibility for SSI benefits.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for SSI benefits, contact our skilled California attorneys to navigate the application process and determine eligibility.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our California SSI benefits attorneys have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs. 

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