Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Rights the SSA grants to all SSI benefits applicants

Many people in our country have to deal with a disabling medical condition, blindness or advanced age on a day-to-day basis. In fact, not only do those people have to deal with the physical discomfort but also have to deal with the financial challenges that arise out of that. According to the guidelines set by the Social Security Administration, those people may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, which is a federal program that offers monthly cash benefits to those who qualify for the eligibility criteria.

People can apply for SSI in a number of ways. For example, they can call the SSA help line; they can visit an SSA office; they can apply online; or they can choose to appoint a representative to apply on their behalf. While applying, residents of Mobile, Alabama should remember that the SSA grants certain rights to all those people who apply for SSI benefits. A brief overview of those SSI claimants' rights is as follows.

The first among those rights is the fact that any individual can apply for SSI benefits and that individual is not charged any money for submitting the application. In fact, not only can anybody apply but also receive assistance from the SSA in order to complete the application process adequately. That includes help in completing the application form to gathering all necessary documentation.

It is also an applicant's right to appoint a family member, a friend or a Social Security attorney as the representative. Additionally, the applicant has the right to receive written communication from the SSA regarding its decision on the claim as well as all other notifications. In the event of denied SSI claims, the applicant has the right to examine his or her file and also to appeal the SSA's decision.

In spite of the rights that a prospective SSI beneficiary has, obtaining SSI benefits remains a challenge because the SSA is known to deny a large number of claims. It is true that the SSA informs the applicant about the reason for denial but there have been instances where the SSA overlooked an important piece of information, which eventually led to the denial. Therefore, it may be beneficial if an applicant chooses to consult a person who has thorough knowledge about the SSI benefits program as well as the SSA.

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