Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

ssi supplemental security income Archives

Qualifications for Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a federal income supplement designed to help the aged, blind, and disabled who have little to no income. SSI is different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in that SSDI benefits are paid to Claimants who have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSI is not based on prior work. The medical standards for SSI and SSDI are the same. Disability for both SSDI and SSI is awarded when a person has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment that is severe and can be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death, and the person, because of the impairment, must not only be unable to do his/her previous work, but must also be unable to do any other type of substantial gainful activity.

What are SSI Work Incentives?

Mobile, Alabama residents would be aware of the Supplemental Security Income program, which is run by the Social Security Administration. The purpose of the SSI program is to provide financial assistance to those individuals who have limited or no income because of a disabling condition such as physical impairments or illnesses, blindness or old age. The money such people receive in the form of SSI helps in meeting the expenses for basic necessities such as food clothing and shelter.

Overview of Social Security Administration's PASS provision - II

The previous blog post introduced the Social Security Administration's Plan to Achieve Self-Support provision. As Mobile, Alabama residents may know, the PASS provision is applicable to those recipients of Supplemental Security Income who try to work despite their disability. The previous blog post mentions the information that an applicant needs at the time of setting up PASS.

Substitution of Parties

Given the lengthy process of applying and receiving Social Security benefits and the severity of many Claimants' illnesses, it is sadly not uncommon for a Social Security disability Claimant to die during the pendency of the process. However, if a Social Security disability applicant dies before being approved for benefits, it may be possible for a family member of the Claimant to receive any benefits owed to the deceased Claimant. The rules concerning substitution of parties in the case of a deceased Claimant depend on the type of disability claim filed.

CHANGES MAY BE ON THE HORIZON FOR RESIDENTS OF PUERTO RICO

Presently, residents of Puerto Rico are only able to draw under the Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Title II program for Social Security, and are not able to draw under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This is due to the fact the Social Security Act excludes Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, from the SSI benefits program. However, these rules may be changing soon which would greatly help disabled residents of Puerto Rico who have been unable to work. Similarly, most children's claims for disability fall under the SSI program. This would vastly expand the number of Puerto Rican children who are allowed to receive disability benefits.

Overview of Social Security Administration's PASS provision

Many people in Alabama who are disabled understand the importance of Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income for meeting their various financial obligations. However, in addition to providing these benefits, the Social Security Administration encourages people to return to work despite their disability. In fact, to motivate such people, the SSA has certain special provisions.

AVOIDING PITFALLS BEFORE A HEARING

I want to discuss some things people need to know before they get a Social Security hearing. I have worked in Social Security law for almost 19 years now and I can tell you there is a lot of information that is needed before having a hearing date and here are some things to remember.  

SSI for disabling birth injuries and congenital diseases

It is an unfortunate reality even today that many children suffer an injury or illness at the time of their birth. The life of that child can then often full of challenges, especially financial, owing to the constant medical attention that the child might need through the rest of his or her life. The Social Security Administration understands those challenges and, therefore, it offers certain benefits to children born with birth injuries or illnesses.

HOW DOES MY WORK IN THE PAST AFFECT MY DISABILITY CASE?

If you have filed or intend to file for disability then know that the work you have done can affect your disability care. When someone files for disability with Social Security, they are alleging that they are unable to work. The basis to Social Security disability is not just based on if you can do work you have done before, but also to consider if there is other work you can do.

New and Material Evidence at the Appeals Council

After receiving an Unfavorable Decision from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), a Claimant who disagrees with the decision of the ALJ may appeal the decision to the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration within 60 days. The Appeals Council will evaluate a decision of an ALJ for any abuse of discretion by the ALJ, error of law, if the issue affects the general public interest, or if the ALJ's actions, findings, and conclusions were not supported by substantial evidence.

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