Many individuals assume that they’ll be able to preserve their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits once they procure them. This isn’t necessarily the case, though.
You must continue to meet the qualifying criteria established by the Social Security Administration (SSA) throughout your entitlement. You must often undergo reassessments at specific intervals to ensure that you continue to meet the requirements to receive these government benefits. The SSA may not even review your application if one of these disqualifying criteria applies to you:
You must generally reside in one of the 50 U.S. states or its territories, be a child of a parent in the military who is stationed abroad or is a student temporarily abroad as part of an academic program to qualify for SSI.
Non-citizens lacking legal alien status are ineligible to receive SSI benefits. The same logic applies to someone who remains outside the US for 30 or more days unless they meet the above-referenced criteria. Prospective recipients must return to the U.S. and remain here for 30 consecutive days to regain eligibility to apply for benefits (provided they meet all the other qualifying criteria).
Incarceration or an outstanding felony warrant
Incarceration in a jail, prison or halfway house, you cannot receive SSI benefits for any full month of imprisonment. In addition, you cannot receive benefits (including retroactive payments) if you have an outstanding felony or arrest warrant for certain offenses, including escapes from custody or flight from prosecution.
Giving away your possessions to qualify
An instance in which you sell off or give away your assets just so you’ll meet the eligibility criteria to receive SSI may also make you ineligible for such benefits. You may be barred from reapplying for 36 months thereafter.
Are you unsure about your eligibility for SSI disability benefits?
Understanding the eligibility requirements for SSI disability benefits can be challenging. Determining whether you have a qualifying condition can be as well. Sometimes, it’s better not to try to figure things out on your own. An experienced advocate can help you learn more and show you how to proactively approach any issues you may have with your disability application.