Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an important source of income for millions of Americans, including those in Florida, many others who apply for SSI without a lawyer are initially denied or receive the bare minimum in benefits. The confusing application process can put applicants at a disadvantage, making it difficult for these individuals to recover the benefits needed to live comfortably. At Morgan & Morgan, our experienced social security attorneys can help individuals and families who need assistance filing claims, as well as those who have already been denied benefits. With decades of experience handling social security claims, our Florida attorneys understand the importance of SSI, which, for some claimants, may supplement Medicaid, social security, food stamps, Medicare and other government benefits.
Do you think you or a loved one may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or another type of social security benefit? If so, do not hesitate to contact one of our skilled social security attorneys today. To find out if we can help you receive benefits, simply fill out our free, no-obligation case review form.
Most of the application process for SSI must be completed at an individual’s Local Florida SSA Office; however, some preparation can be done beforehand to save time when filing for benefits. First, applicants can complete an online Adult Disability Report (a portion of the application for an individual adult), or an online Child Disability Report to apply for SSI benefits on behalf of a child. Since benefits will be paid (if the application is approved) from the day that you contact the SSA to apply, you should begin the application process as soon as possible. Because the application process can be confusing, it may be beneficial for applicants to speak with an attorney before moving forward.
The application process requires significant documentation. To be sure that the filing process goes smoothly, make sure you have the proper documentation. Some of the following documents (original copies, not photocopies) are needed to complete the application process:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is based on income, resources, and other factors; therefore, benefit amounts will vary by person. Effective January 2013, the maximum Federal SSI payment for an eligible individual is $710 per month and $1,066 per month for an eligible couple. Some states, including Florida, supplement the federal SSI payment; therefore, the maximum amount may be higher for individuals and couples with relatively low income and resources. In addition, back pay is typically available and will cover the time period between the initial filing and the approval of the application.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available for anyone who is age 65 or older, blind, or disabled AND has limited income, limited resources, and is a U.S. citizen or natural (or in certain categories of aliens).
Adults may be considered disabled if an individual has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including an emotional or learning problem) which:
Children may be considered disabled if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, (including an emotional or learning problem) which:
SSI is based almost entirely on income. In general, if an individual’s income is too high, their award total will be reduced or they will not be eligible for SSI benefits. The SSA determines income from an aggregate total of various sources including:
Income Not Counted for SSI: The following are not counted as income in determining eligibility for SSI:
Resources in the calculation of SSI include a variety of assets. If you are single, and your assets are worth less than $2,000, you may be eligible to receive SSI. Couples are eligible only if their resources total less than $3,000. If you are in the midst of selling property, you may be able to receive SSI while you are waiting for it to sell. Many things are not considered resources in calculating SSI, including the home you live in and the land it sits on; household goods and personal effects; burial funds; a vehicle used for transportation; and life insurance policies worth less than $1,500 total. Some of the assets considered include:
Social security is designed to provide protection for working parents and their families. If a parent dies, their children may be entitled to receive SSI benefits to cover related financial losses.
Unmarried children may collect SSI benefits after a parent’s death if they are:
SSI may be able to help families with children who have severe disabilities if they have minimal income and limited resources. These benefits may be paid regardless of the parent’s ability to work, and will continue as long as the child is disabled and unable to provide for themselves financially.
A child may be eligible for SSI Disability insurance if they:
Even if you are an SSI recipient, you could be eligible for other benefits offered by the state of Florida or your county. For instance, you may still qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, or other social services. By contacting the local Florida social services department or public welfare office, you can learn more about the benefits available in your area.
You could possibly receive financial assistance to help pay for yearly deductibles, monthly premiums, and medication copayments affiliated with the Medicare prescription drug program. You could be entitled to these benefits if you live in poverty and have limited earning potential. These restrictions related to wealth and income change annually and do not correlate with SSI limitations. You will automatically receive this assistance if:
If your application for SSI has been denied or you believe you were not compensated properly, your attorney may appeal the decision by filing a written request within 60 days of receiving the decision letter. Your claim could potentially reach four stages of review if it is continually denied.
Our Orlando Social security lawyers have extensive experience handling SSI appeals claims. They will be able to help you through each step of the appeals process and compile any documentation or evidence that is necessary to substantiate your appeal.
If you are already receiving SSI and would like to know if you qualify for any of these other benefits, discuss your situation with a Florida social security disability attorney today. Furthermore, if you are unsure whether you meet the requirements to receive SSI, an Orlando Social security attorney can help as to determine your eligibility. To learn more about the benefits to which you may be entitled, don’t hesitate to contact us today by filling out our free, no-risk case review form.