A time of crisis is when we need government most. Why? Because the government is essentially all of us in the country banding together to help those most in need, and those most vulnerable.
Supplemental Security Income – also known as SSI – is one of those federal government programs that form part of that much-needed social safety net. In this article, we are going to discuss what SSI is, who is eligible, and how you can make an SSI claim.
If you have additional questions pertaining to your own personal circumstances after reviewing this article, then we invite you to contact the SSI claims attorneys in Jacksonville, FL – RITE Law. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. Remember, we provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
What Is SSI?
SSI is a federal program, funded through general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes), with the purpose of:
1. Helping those who are elderly, blind, or disabled, and who have little or no income; and
2. Providing cash to eligible recipients to pay for basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter.
In sum, it is a program that is there to provide help to those who are very difficult circumstances. Given the fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and that many states in the country are actually seeing a dramatic rise in virus infections, it is highly likely that SSI benefits will be in greater demand moving forward.
Who is Eligible for SSI Benefits?
First and foremost, eligible individuals need to fit into one of three categories:
1. Aged, which means 65 years old or older;
2. Blind, or
In addition, there are a number of criteria, all of which must be met, to be allowed to collect SSI benefits. An eligible person is one who:
1. Has limited income;
2. Has limited resources;
3. Is a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens (in general, an alien who is subject to an active warrant for deportation or removal does not meet the citizenship/alien requirement);
4. Is a resident of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
5. Is not absent from the country for a full calendar month or for 30 consecutive days or more;
6. Is not confined to an institution (such as a hospital or prison) at the government’s expense;
7. Applies for any other cash benefits or payments for which he or she may be eligible (for example, pensions, Social Security benefits);
8. Gives SSA permission to contact any financial institution and request any financial records about you;
9. Files an application; and
10. Meets certain other requirements.
With regard to what “disabled” means, there is a slightly different definition depending on whether you are a child or adult. A disabled child – who can be eligible for SSI benefits – is someone under the age of 18 who has “marked and severe functional limitations” due to a physical or mental impairment that could result in death or can last for a year or longer.
A disabled adult, on the other hand, is someone older than 18 who is unable to do any “substantial gainful activity” because of a physical or mental impairment that could result in death or will last for longer than one year.
How Do You Apply for Benefits?
You can apply for benefits online, by phone, or in person. With regard to timing, the sooner you apply for benefits the better. The Social Security Administration will not pay for benefits for time periods earlier than the effective date of your application. There is no charge to apply.
In fact, as potentially eligible for SSI benefits you enjoy a number of rights, including:
1. The Right to Receive Help from Social Security.
An SSA representatives can complete an application for you based on the information you provide and will even help you obtain the documents you need to show that you meet the SSI eligibility requirements.
In addition, if you need medical information to show that you have a disability or you are blind, then SSA will pay for you to go to a doctor and obtain the necessary medical proof of your disability.
2. The Right to a Representative.
You can appoint a trusted friend or family member as your representative, who can help you with your SSI claim and go with you to your appointments at the SSA.
3. The Right to Examine Your File.
Any applicant for SSI can get a copy of his or her information in the SSI case file.
Get Help from an SSI Claims Attorney in Jacksonville.
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with physical and/or mental disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits solely based on financial need.
Initial claims for these benefits are often denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) due to paperwork errors or insufficient medical evidence verifying a disability. There are a number of levels to the appeals system that leaves most people overwhelmed and frustrated.
RITE law we are the SSI claims attorneys in Jacksonville who can assist you with this lengthy and tedious process. There are no upfront fees, and we are paid only if a benefit is recovered on your behalf.
Without help from the SSI claims attorneys in Jacksonville on the RITE team, trying to make a Social Security benefits claims can lead to a lot of frustration and time and money lost. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure every detail of your claim is addressed. We answer any questions you have and stand in your corner to give you the best opportunity to receive all the benefits you deserve.
If you’re seeking Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) don’t settle for denial or a system that won’t give you answers. Turn to us and give yourself the best shot at the result you’re seeking.