Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) SSI Benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program designed to help blind or disabled people, or seniors over 65, who have little or no income. It helps provide for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. This program is funded from general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes. Unlike Social Security Disability (SSD), benefits are not based on how long a person has worked and how much has been paid into Social Security. SSI benefits are awarded per a person’s needs.

Who Is Eligible For SSI Benefits?

To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen or national, or in certain categories of aliens. You must be blind, disabled, or 65 years or older and have limited income and resources. You must also meet certain other eligibility requirements, including residence. Disability for adults must include physical or mental illness that can be medically determined and results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity. The illness must be expected to result in death or must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 continuous months.

How Do You Apply For SSI Benefits?

To receive SSI benefits, you will have to file an application and provide documents to the Social Security Administration. The documents can include your Social Security card and proof of age, citizenship, income, resources, living arrangements, and work history. If you are blind or disabled, you will need to provide medical reports about health care providers and prescription medications.

Why You Need A Lawyer To Help You File Your Application

There are a high percentage of SSI applications that are disapproved, often due to a failure to provide information in the correct format, answer questions correctly with regard to the criteria, submit insufficient medical data, and other problems. Many people make a wise choice and get legal help from a Plano SSI lawyer to avoid unnecessary delays. As with all government agencies, the process can be slow and any missing piece of data could add months of waiting. After submission, the application is then evaluated by a state disability agency or the Disability Determination Services office in your state. An examiner gathers your medical records and reviews them in order to determine if you fall into the category of being disabled under social security regulations. The Social Security administration advises that a case is usually decided within 90 to 120 days, but depending upon how long it takes for the examiner to receive your medical records, and other factors, it may take as little as a month or as long as 6 months. A disability examiner may send letters to an applicant’s medical sources such as physicians, hospitals and clinics to request medical records. At our firm, you can expect all of these details to be addressed professionally, speeding the process along, rather than having to wait for all of this information to be gathered by the agency. The examiner will make calls to the claimant, their friends and relatives or neighbors, to gather information about the claimant’s condition. Once all of the information is received, the examiner will confer with medical specialists employed by DDS. If there is not enough evidence to make a determination, DDS may ask the claimant to have another medical examination done at DDS’ expense.

Call Our Firm First For Your Initial Evaluation!

At the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, our professional legal team is very familiar with filing claims correctly and in helping those who need benefits to get them approved, as well as appealing denied claims. It is far better than trying to understand the specific requirements that absolutely must be in place to get the benefits you so badly need – we do it all for you.

Contact us to help you determine if you are eligible for SSI benefits.