Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

ssi supplemental security income Archives

What should I know about resources when I seek SSI benefits?

When an Alabama resident is blind or disabled, has limited income and resources and is 65 or older, that individual can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). People tend to focus on what is perceived as the most important aspect of a claim -- the disability or blindness -- and forget that their resources must be limited to be approved for SSI benefits. Understanding resources is a critical factor to get the benefits. Failure to do so can result in denied SSI claims. For these issues, it might be useful to have legal advice.

The right approach to getting approved to receive SSI

There are millions of Americans, including many in Alabama, who are benefitting from the stability and growth we are seeing in the national economy. However, there are also some people who have never had a chance to participate in the workforce, oftentimes due to a physical or mental disability. For those individuals, applying to receive Supplemental Security Income may be their only shot to get much needed financial support.

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income in Alabama

Our readers in Alabama may have seen many of our previous posts here that describe the desperately needed financial help that Social Security Disability benefits provide to people who have injuries or illnesses that prevent them from continuing to work. However, there is another program that is administered by the Social Security Administration that can be just as crucial in terms of a financial lifeline: Supplemental Security Income, commonly referred to as "SSI."

Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2020

On October 22, 2019, Social Security Administration announced a 1.6% increase in benefits for 2020. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be effective for Social Security disability beneficiaries for their December 2019 benefits that are payable in January of 2020. For SSI beneficiaries, the cost-of-living adjustment will be made for January 2020 but paid on December 31, 2019.

Stop the Wait ACT

In September it was announced that U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) authored a bill to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits. Currently, if someone is approved for Disability Insurance Benefits, which are the benefits you paid into when you were working, there is a 5-month waiting period before any payment can be received and a 24 month waiting period for Medicare benefits. This act would eliminate those wait times. This is especially important because both financial support and health insurance is critical to those who are disabled.

How your income and resources impact SSI eligibility

Our readers in Alabama may know that Supplemental Security Income is a benefit that is designed by the government to help some of the most financially disadvantaged individuals out there. However, what is lesser known about SSI is that there are strict eligibility guidelines that must be met to be approved to receive SSI. An applicant's income and financial resources could impact SSI eligibility.

SNAP -that was easy!

One of the biggest struggles for those filing for disability and without income is how do I feed myself and my family and how do I pay my bills. There is help for food services if you meet the income requirements. The food stamp program is now called SNAP which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP's purpose is to help with nutrition by providing monthly benefits to eligible low income households with the means to buy the food they need for good health.

Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income

Most Americans are familiar with Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and how an individual might apply for and qualify to receive those benefits. However, there is another form of financial benefit that some people may be eligible for: Supplemental Security Income.

Consultative Examinations

Our office has been advised that due to low funds, no consultative examinations will be scheduled by the Disability Determination Services of Alabama through September 15, 2019 through September 30, 2019. A consultative examination (CE) is an examination by a physician that is ordered by Social Security for Claimants to help decide whether they meet the criteria for Social Security disability. CEs are usually ordered by either the Disability Determination Services or an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level when the Claimant's own medical sources are inadequate to determine if the Claimant is disabled. A CE is not conducted in order to provide the Claimant with medical advice or treatment. Rather, it is an examination that is supposed to assess the severity of a Claimant's medical impairments as well as any limitations that are a result of these impairments. The examination can either be a physical examination or psychological examination. It can also be blood work, x-rays, or a nerve conduction study.

Function Reports for Social Security Disability

When you apply for Social Security disability, one of the first things you receive in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a function report. A function report will ask you various questions regarding your activities of daily living. For example, what do you do from the time that you wake up until you go to bed? Other questions ask how your medical impairments affect your ability to dress and bathe yourself, prepare your own meals, perform household chores, shop, travel, and perform any other activities of daily living.

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