Supplemental Security Income FAQs

Michael Armstrong Law Is Here To Provide You With SSI FAQs

Our firm works tirelessly to help claimants get the SSI benefits they deserve. This process can be long and complicated. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys at Michael Armstrong Law are here to assist you with the process once you have been denied.

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What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

SSI is a government assistance program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are disabled, blind, or at the retirement age of 65. SSI is available for anyone who has disabling conditions. The amount one can receive for SSI is adjusted regularly to account for inflation, and is further adjusted based on an individual’s income and assets.

How do I quality for SSI?

To qualify for SSI, you do not need to have worked in the past, and instead, you would need to medically qualify as disabled. To qualify as disabled, you need to have a medical and/or mental health condition that prevents you from working based on Social Security’s standards. To receive SSI, you must also qualify financially. If you have too much value in your bank account and assets, you cannot receive SSI.  In this case, Social Security would determine that you would not need assistance given that you have enough resources available to you to get by from day-to-day.

What is SSA’s Definition of “Disability”?

To receive SSI, one must not be engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and must have a medical and/or mental health condition that prevents them from being able to engage in SGA. This disability must also be expected to last at least 12 months or be expected to result in death.

What are the financial requirements for SSI?

To qualify as individual, you must have no more than $2000 in total savings and assets to be able to receive SSI benefits. This value is calculated based on assets that are deemed to be non-essential.  Essential assets typically include the house you live in and your car. Any funds in bank accounts or investments are part of the calculation when determining if you qualify for SSI benefits. How much you get is adjusted on a case-by-case basis.

How do you apply for SSI benefits?

To apply for SSI benefits, you will need to contact your local Social Security office and set up an appointment or you can also call the national toll-free number for Social Security.

How Long does the SSI application process take?

An SSI application can take anywhere between a few months and a few years, sometimes even longer. The length of application depends on the stage of approval, particularly since there can be many appeals between the initial application and final approval.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these estimated times may be longer at each stage.

When should I search for an attorney?

After you receive your first denial on your SSI application, you should contact an attorney for representation of your case.  You should be aware that an appeal must be filed within 60 days upon receipt of the notice of initial denial.

Is getting SSI benefits difficult?

Depending on your conditions, getting SSI benefits could be difficult because of how Social Security determines disability. This will vary from case to case depending on what disabling conditions one might have.

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