The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers several programs for people who are disabled, elderly, or otherwise cannot work and earn an income for themselves. One such program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This benefit program provides a regular monthly income to disabled or elderly people of limited means.
If you think you might qualify for SSI, it is best to apply with the help of the attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group. Many qualified applicants receive denials the first time they apply. Often, this is because their applications feature mistakes or omissions. We can help you put together the strongest and most thorough application and give you the highest chance of approval.
To set up a free consultation, call 865-566-0800 today. We can help you understand how to get SSI.
What Is SSI?
SSI is a disability program that is specifically for those with low incomes and minimal assets. Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), SSI does not require you to have a certain work history or to have paid into Social Security with your payroll taxes. In fact, if you earn too much money or your net worth is too high, you can receive a denial for SSI benefits on those grounds.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for SSI?
You are eligible to receive SSI if you meet the following criteria from the SSA.
You must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States to receive SSI. Moreover, you must physically reside in either the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands.
Age or Disability
To receive SSI, you must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You are 65 years of age or older;
- You are partially or totally blind; or
- You have a medical condition that makes it impossible to sustain gainful employment—and you have had or will have this condition for at least 12 months.
Income and Assets
The SSA will also need proof that your total assets do not exceed $2,000 if you are single or $3,000 if you are a married couple. Like your income, you may exclude certain possessions from your total assets.
Our attorneys can review your finances to see if you qualify for any exemptions or deductions.
How Do I Apply for SSI?
The SSA offers three ways to apply for SSI.
You can apply online if you:
- Are 18 to 65 years old;
- Never married;
- Are not blind;
- Are a U.S. citizen;
- Have not previously applied for SSI; and
- Are applying for SSDI at the same time as SSI.
We can help you decide if you qualify to apply online and if this is the best option for you.
The SSA allows you to apply via phone by calling 800-772-1213.
You can apply in person by visiting your local Social Security field office. There, you will have the opportunity to meet with a representative face to face. It is a good idea to bring your attorney with you.
How Much Can I Earn From SSI?
The 2017 base rate for SSI is $735 for a single recipient and $1,103 for a married couple. However, a couple of factors could affect your award.
If you live in a high cost of living state that adds to the federal benefit amount, your award could be higher. Furthermore, if you have other sources of income—such as from a part-time job—the SSA may subtract those earnings from your award.
We can help you sort out such situations and ensure you get the maximum award for which you are eligible.
A Qualified Attorney From the Disability Advantage Group, Can Give Your SSI Application the Best Chance of Approval.
Before you start your SSI application, come in for a free consultation with the legal team at the Disability Advantage Group. Our job is to win disability for our clients and we have a strong record of doing just that. Call 865-566-0800 today to schedule your appointment.