Supplemental Security Income
If you have a disability and are unable to work, Boston social security income lawyer Michael O. Smith is prepared to help you seek supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. Mr. Smith represents and advises disabled individuals on their rights to disability benefits. He can assess your case and represent you if your application for benefits was denied. Contact us to discuss your claim.Supplemental Security Income
You may be eligible for SSI benefits if you have a long-term disability. SSI is a program managed by the Social Security Administration (Administration) for individuals with limited means who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. If your claim for SSI benefits is based on your disability, you must have a disabling condition that lasts at least one year or ends in death to qualify.
SSI is a needs-based program. Your eligibility for SSI benefits will depend on your income and resources. Unlike social security disability income (SSDI), you do not need to work for a certain amount of time, or have paid into social security, to receive benefits. This is because the program is funded by the US Treasury, even though it is managed by the Administration.Income and Resources for SSI
The Administration will look at two key factors to determine your eligibility for SSI benefits: your income and your resources. Most of the funds you receive will legally be considered “income” by the Administration. This includes wages, pensions, and SSDI benefits.
Resources are items that you own. This includes your bank accounts, stocks, and any real estate (unless it is your home and you live in it). If you are married, your spouse’s income and resources will also be taken into consideration.
The Administration has various work incentives that allow you to work and continue to receive your SSI benefit. It will exclude certain items from what it considers income or resources. For example, impairment-related work expenses are not counted as income (such as a wheelchair).SSI Benefits
If your SSI application is approved, you will receive a monthly benefit based on an amount set by the government. The amount fluctuates each year to account for cost-of-living adjustments. This is different from SSDI benefits, which are based on your lifetime earnings before you became disabled. Also, unlike SSDI, your dependents are not entitled to any benefits based on your SSI eligibility. Other benefits include eligibility for healthcare coverage and food assistance.
If you are eligible for SSI, you may also qualify for State Supplement Program (SSP) benefits. This is an additional program that provides Massachusetts residents with financial assistance. You will receive a separate check each month from the state for SSP benefits.Denial of Your SSI Claim
You can ask the Administration to reconsider your application if it denies your claim, or if it determines that you no longer have a disability. The Administration will regularly review your case by conducting continued disability reviews approximately every three years (or sooner), and redeterminations (a review of your income and resources). A decision can be appealed by making a request for reconsideration within 60 days from the date you received the Administration’s initial determination. There are various levels of appeals, and you may need to take your case to a hearing to claim your benefits.Helping You in Your Social Security Matter
Boston social security income attorney Michael O. Smith has helped clients with their social security matters for over 15 years. Mr. Smith has represented clients throughout the social security claims process, and has been instrumental in advocating for his clients at hearings. He provides clients with the legal counseling they need to make informed decisions on their social security benefits claims. Mr. Smith works with clients in Boston and the surrounding area. Please call our office today at 617-263-0060, or fill out our online form, to schedule a consultation at no cost.