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Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is one of the disability benefit programs operated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unlike other benefits programs that are based on a person’s work history, SSI is needs-based assistance available to low-income, disabled individuals. With the guidance of a dedicated Social Security attorney, you obtain monthly compensation.
Unfortunately, not everyone who pursues SSI benefits is successful. Many initial applications are rejected for a variety of reasons. You must meet a minimum income threshold and be disabled to qualify for SSI, otherwise your application will be rejected. A Parkersburg SSI lawyer from Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help you file an application or address a rejected claim.
Obtaining SSI requires a claimant to suffer from a disability and have a financial need. There are several ways to prove disability. First, the applicant must show that his or her earnings fall below the SSA’s income threshold for SSI benefits. If his or her monthly income is too high, the applicant will be disqualified from SSI regardless of whether he or she established a qualifying disability.
Next, an applicant can show that his or her condition meets the SSA’s disability requirements or appears on the agency’s list of qualifying impairments. A condition which is not listed would qualify if it prevents the claimant from performing the duties of their job or adjusting to another line of work.
The income requirements for SSI cover more than just earned wages, however. In addition to earned income, this calculation also covers unearned contributions like spousal support, pensions, rental income, and other government benefits.
It is not always easy to determine whether an applicant qualifies for SSI. Some individuals meet these qualifications but fail to provide the necessary proof in their application. A Parkersburg lawyer can assist anyone with meeting these requirements for SSI.
The denial of an SSI claim is not the end of the process. There are a series of appeal options available after a denial. A local attorney can help you understand your options at every stage of the SSI process.
The first step in the appeals process is filing a request for reconsideration. This essentially asks the SSA to reconsider the original decision on an application. Someone other than the person who issued the initial denial will review the case.
If that step is unsuccessful, an applicant may seek a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will consider all of the original evidence as well as any evidence which was added after the original appeal.
If that yields a subsequent denial, the next step is appealing the administrative law judge’s decision to the Appeals Council. It is vital to note that the Appeals Council has no obligation to hear an appeal and will often refuse to do so. From there, the only remaining step is a lawsuit in federal court.
If you are living with financial hardship due to a disability, SSI benefits might be the best way to improve your financial situation. While these benefits are helpful, obtaining them is rarely simple.
Talk to a Parkersburg SSI attorney from our firm about your eligibility for monetary benefits from the SSA. Call Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, now to get started.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law