Wilson, NC asked in Social Security for North Carolina

Q: Can I get SSI for mental illness if I haven't worked a tax paying job?

Im 30 years old. I have multiple mental illnesses and have been struggling with them since I was a child. I have never worked a tax paying job. I want to find care and medication that can really help me but that isn't easy with no money. I've put it off so long because I feel so bad and guilty when there are so many people worse off. I just don't know what else to do. Would I be able to get SSI and how do I even go about applying or getting information they may need? (I have an awful memory and have been to different therapists on and off since 7) My mother controlled everything even after I was grown for the most part and she's passed away.

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1 Lawyer Answer
David Gantt
David Gantt
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Asheville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You would be eligible for Supplement Security Insurance (SSI) benefits regardless of work history. The SSI benefit program is based on financial need regardless of work history. The more familiar Disability Insurance Benefits program, commonly called Social Security Disability (SSD), is based on work history and tax payments. You may also be eligible for Medicaid. When you are approved for SSI, you would automatically receive Medicaid. You have a right to file for Medicaid separately through your local Department of Social Services (DSS) n the NC County you reside. You would likely get a chance to appear before Medicaid Judge before your SSI application reaches the hearing level. In short, we always suggest clients apply for SSI at the local SS office AND apply for Medicaid through your County DSS. All these programs will require you to prove disability for a period of at least twelve (12) months.

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