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When adults in Charleston suffer disabilities or live with blindness, they could be entitled to benefits through the Social Security Administration. These benefits—known as supplemental security income or SSI—provide income replacement for those with limited assets.
Not everyone qualifies for SSI, and the application process can be complex. Denied claims are not uncommon, especially when an applicant does not work with a dedicated social security attorney. Before you file your application, consider discussing your options with a Charleston SSI lawyer.
The Social Security Administration provides monetary benefits to disabled individuals through two separate programs: SSI and SSDI. Given the similar names and origins, these two programs are often confused. A Charleston attorney can outline the significant differences between SSI and SSDI.
Both programs are federally funded, but these funds do not originate from the same place. SSDI is paid for by FICA taxes, while SSI is covered by general revenue. While both programs are intended for disabled individuals, SSDI has strict requirements regarding an applicant’s work history. SSI does not have any work requirements, but the program is means-tested to ensure that only low-income applicants will qualify. Ultimately, SSI is available to some applicants who would not qualify for SSDI because of a lack of previous work history.
There are multiple steps in the SSI application process, and an error on the part of an applicant could significantly decrease the chances of a successful claim. A local SSI attorney can help prevent costly mistakes and guide an applicant through the proceedings.
The initial step in the process is to submit a written application for SSI benefits to the Social Security Administration. For some people, this is all it takes to secure the benefits they need. However, many applications are initially denied.
Denials can happen for various reasons, like a lack of medical documentation or failure to meet the income threshold. A denied SSI claim is not the end of your opportunity to secure benefits through SSI—there is an appeals process. However, an applicant only has 60 days from the date they are notified of the denial to file an appeal. A failure to meet that deadline can result in a permanent denial of benefits.
The initial appeal is also frequently denied. There are additional steps that an applicant may take, including requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. At this stage of the process, an applicant can offer additional evidence to overcome the issues that led to the initial denial.
During every step of the SSI process in Charleston, an applicant has the right to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. This guidance could significantly increase the likelihood of success when it comes to securing SSI benefits.
The process of obtaining SSI benefits is often long and frustrating. While denials are not uncommon, an attorney can help you address the issues with your claim and secure the benefits you deserve.
One of the best ways to improve your chances of success is by hiring a Charleston SSI lawyer. Call our firm today to learn more.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law