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What are issues that can hinder eligibility for SSI benefits?

When a New Jersey resident meets the basic requirements to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at 65 or older, disabled or blind, it does not automatically mean they will still be able to get SSI benefits. There are disqualifying issues that can hinder a person from getting SSI. It is important to know these, so the person can rectify that hindrance and then be eligible for benefits.

A person who has an unsatisfied felony or is subject to an arrest warrant is not eligible for SSI. The following circumstances will lead to ineligibility: an escape from custody, a flight to avoid being prosecuted or confined or flight escape. The Social Security Administration can also withhold retroactive payments, if these factors are in place. Once proof is provided that the issues have been satisfied, the payments will be made. If a person is incarcerated, either in jail or prison, it is also a reason for being ineligible for SSI. The retroactive payments will be withheld as well.

A person who is in a public institution for an entire month and that institution is run by a local, federal or state government will not be eligible for SSI for that month. It is possible that there will be an exception, if it is an emergency facility for the homeless or a community residence that is publicly operated. Those who are anticipating leaving that institution should be aware of the prerelease procedures for SSI. A person who has given away resources or sold it for less than it is worth to get below the resource limits for SSI might not be able to get SSI for as long as 36 months.

Those who are not U.S. citizens and do not meet the requirements for aliens are ineligible for benefits. Finally, a person who gets SSI, but is out of the U.S. for one full calendar month or for at least 30 consecutive days is ineligible, unless it is a child studying abroad or a child who has parents in the military who are stationed overseas. Once the person is back in the U.S., eligibility will be reinstated.

SSI benefits can be a lifeline to those who are eligible. Meeting the basic requirements is crucial, but in certain cases, it is not enough. For people who do not meet the criteria to get Supplemental Security Income for the above reasons, it is important to have legal help from an attorney to try and meet the eligibility requirements and settle the issues that have prevented getting SSI.

Source: SSA.gov, "Who Is Not Eligible For SSI?," accessed on March 19, 2018

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