If you are working, but suffering a disability, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits. However, as with any benefit or insurance, they are subject to certain restrictions and specific circumstances. Benefits are not the same for everyone and many people don’t know the difference between SSDI and SSI.
What is a Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefit that adults, and even children, receive if they are blind or disabled and have limited income and resources. SSI is also available to people aged 65 or older regardless of any pre-existing disability. SSI is available regardless of whether or not the applicant is working. It’s available to U.S. citizens living in the United States and the Northern Marianas Islands.
The SSI program focuses on benefiting people with limited resources. Social security takes into consideration all sources of income to determine not only the amount of benefits you may receive but also if you are eligible to have this benefit. These sources include your spouse’s if you’re married. For children, it consists of an accounting of the parents’ income and resources.
However, it does not include all income and resources. For instance, income refers only to wages, social security benefits, pension, food, and shelter. This income excludes:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits
- Shelter from non-profit organizations
- Home energy assistance
- First $20 a month of most income you receive
- First $65 a month earned from working and half of the amount over $65
- Wages used for things or services that facilitate work for those who are blind or disabled
For resources, social security considers them as things that you own, such as cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and the like. In general, if you are single and have only $2,000 or less, you are qualified. For couples, your joint resources should not be more than $3,000. But again, similar to income, not all are accounted for. This includes:
- The house and the land where it is situated
- Your car
- $1,500 burial funds for each spouse, as well as burial plots for you and immediate family
- Life insurance policies valued at $1,500 or less
Other than all these, it takes into account which city you live to determine the reasonable cost of living.
The Problem with the Supplemental Security Income Benefits
There are issues regarding the SSI that are concerning to most people who benefit it. Among these are the stringent rules for eligibility and the unreasonable requirements to remain eligible. Some beneficiaries report that they have a hard time complying with the standards set by the program because they need the benefits to survive.
The program benefits only those a little above the poverty line. It means that people who happen to have fluctuating income, or those who would be in a disadvantage if they were removed from the program, are trapped to stick to low-income jobs only to secure these benefits. It basically disables them from a higher level of security because better job opportunities mean more expenses than revenue.
For instance, a person who suffers a disability may be given benefits through the SSI program in the amount of $500 while earning a wage of $85 a month. However, if he starts receiving $100, benefits are reduced immensely, making him unable to pay for the actual things he needs to get by. That is why some people get denied benefits, even though based on living conditions, they are qualified.
What You Can Do in Case of You Get Denied
In case you have already applied for SSI benefits but got denied, you have a right to appeal the decision. For this, we encourage you to get a lawyer with the knowledge and expertise to handle the case. It can also help to know the top 5 reasons why your disability was denied.
For Your SSI Benefits, Consult The Clark Law Office
If you’ve just been denied benefits, then waste no time and speak with an experienced disability benefits lawyer right away. At The Clark Law Office, we will examine your case, make a thorough investigation of your income and resources, and determine your eligibility to apply or appeal, as the case may be.
We also offer our services to appear and represent clients in appeals cases. The aim of our personal injury attorneys is to provide good and honest legal service to those oppressed by unreasonable requirements and restrictions. Allow us to give you the best protection and care you deserve. Call The Clark Law Office today.
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