Does your elderly parent qualify for these financial assistance options? It’s possible they do, but the application process is complex as there are many rules. How can an Elder Law Attorney help?
What is the benefit of SSI or SSDI? Both are available to older adults. SSI has a strict income limit that your parent must meet. If retirement income or income from employment exceeds that amount, your family needs to look at SSDI. SSDI is different in that a person must have worked to get enough work credits through an employer.
Understand the Requirements
To qualify for SSI, you must meet these requirements:
- Be at least 65 or older
- Be partially or totally blind
- Have a medical condition that’s expected to last more than a year or be terminal
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or holds a valid green card
- You’ve applied for other benefits, such as pensions, first
- Reside in one of the 50 states and isn’t away from the country for more than 30 consecutive days
- Not be living in a prison or government institution
- Not have more than $2,000 in financial resources and assets (other than a house and car)
SSDI benefits pay more, but you must have earned enough work credits and be disabled or have a medical condition that is terminal or expected to last a year or more. As an example, early-onset Alzheimer’s is a good example of when a person might need SSDI. The disease keeps you from working and earning an income, but you also need an income.
To qualify for SSDI, you must:
- Have a medical condition that is permanent and not temporary
- Be unable to work
- Be younger than your full retirement age
SSI and SSDI Also Provide Medicaid Coverage
With SSI and SSDI, the qualifying person gets Medicaid to cover health care. If your parent qualifies for SSI, Medicaid begins the moment SSI is approved. There’s a two-year waiting period for SSDI unless your parent has ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, at which point Medicaid coverage is automatic.
The Rules Can Be Confusing
That’s just an abbreviated list of the rules that are applicable to SSI and SSDI benefits. There are many rules and reasons that one would qualify or not qualify. Because it’s a complex process, it can take months before the application is approved. What do you do if your parent doesn’t have months to wait?
Talk to an SSI/SSDI attorney about an expedited application process. There are certain situations where an application can be rushed. An attorney can help you understand the process and help you with the application.
Consider hiring an SSI attorney if your parent’s income meets the eligibility requirements or there’s a disability impacting the ability to work. An SSDI attorney can help you understand the application process if your mom or dad has a disability like ALS or Alzheimer’s forcing them into early retirement. Call to schedule a consultation.
The Law Office of James Dolenga offers Medi-Cal Planning, Estate Planning, SSDI, SSI, and Elder Law Attorney in Simi Valley CA. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299