Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed to provide financial assistance to elderly and disabled individuals who have little or no income. The program was created in 1974 and is funded through general tax revenues and payroll taxes, not Social Security taxes. An SSI recipient’s annual payment is equal to the federal benefit rate (FBR). However, most states supplement the FBR.
You may qualify for SSI if you are 65 years of age or older, blind, or disabled, in addition to having limited income and resources. Generally, the disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
To qualify for SSI, an individual also has to meet an asset limit, which takes into account how much cash the person has on hand, how much money they have deposited in a bank account, their savings/CD accounts, stocks, bonds, and other marketable securities. The current asset limit for SSI is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.
An SSI lawyer can provide further guidance on your unique situation. To find a qualified legal professional, you can search online for “disability lawyer near me” for a list of candidates.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
The SSA has a list of medical conditions they consider disabling. Your doctor must fill out forms from the agency describing your diagnosis, treatment, and limitations. You also have to complete a questionnaire about your daily activities and functions. You will not automatically qualify for SSI or any other benefits if the SSA decides you are disabled.
Once you start receiving SSI in Pennsylvania, continuing to get benefits can be a problem, especially if you are employed. If your income exceeds the monthly resource limit or if you start earning too much money, the SSA may begin withholding your benefits.
The SSA may deny your application if you refuse to cooperate with the agency in establishing that you are disabled or blind or that your resources do not exceed established limits. You may also be penalized for misrepresenting facts relevant to your entitlement. In addition, if you are over the age of 18, the SSA may deny or terminate your SSI benefits if you refuse treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism.
To avoid unnecessary benefits denials or discontinuation of benefits, a PA SSI lawyer can help you with the following:
SSI benefits can make all the difference to you and your family. To preserve your financial health in the face of a disabling condition, speak with an SSI attorney today.