SSI Lawyer in Daphne, AL
Getting by with limited income can make every month challenging and stressful. Luckily, for those who qualify, SSI (Supplemental Security Income) can bridge the gap between earnings and obligations each month.
The process of applying for Social Security benefits can be time-consuming and complicated, which is why it is important to begin as soon as you think you may qualify. Hiring a disability lawyer in Daphne can also help you strengthen your application or fight a denial. To discuss your SSI claim with the team at Walton Law, call us at 251-455-5819.
What is SSI and How Is It Different From SSDI?
Supplementary Security Income is a Social Security program that provides assistance to elderly individuals or those with disabilities. While SSDI gives you your own money that you have had removed from your paycheck during your working years, SSI is not funded by your income. It is funded by the program itself, and because of this, it does not have a work history requirement like SSDI does.
Your Assets and Income Determine Whether or Not You Qualify
One of the most confusing aspects of applying for SSI in Daphne is trying to figure out if you qualify. While the SSA does provide specific limits regarding income and assets, there are so many exceptions that many applicants are unsure if they should or shouldn’t apply.
This is one reason we recommend hiring an SSI lawyer in Daphne, AL. Since our team of disability lawyers focuses exclusively on disability cases, we have an in-depth knowledge of SSA requirements that we can apply to every case we accept. We can determine if you do or do not qualify for SSI/SSDI fairly quickly.
When looking at your income, the SSA looks at different types of income. Earned income comes from self-employment, wages, some types of royalties, and sheltered workshop payments. Unearned income includes pensions, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, and money from loved ones.
Food, shelter, and other items you receive below market price are considered “in-kind” income. Deemed income includes money earned by your spouse who lives with you or your parents. All of these types of income can decrease your SSI or eliminate it entirely.
There are types of income that do not count against your SSI application. This includes the first $20 of income you get each month, the first $65 of earnings you get each month, income tax refunds, irregular or infrequent income, and more.
Your assets can also decrease the amount of SSI you receive. Assets include cash on hand, bank accounts, land, stocks, vehicles, personal property, life insurance, and essentially anything else you could sell for cash. If an individual has more than $2000 in assets, their SSI application may be denied. If a couple has more than $3,000 in assets, they may not qualify for SSI. Some assets are excluded from this calculation, including the home you live in, life insurance policies worth less than $1500, and burial plots for yourself and immediate family members.
How Much Can Recipients Get Each Month?
The Social Security Administration revisits the amount of federal SSI benefits each year to account for inflation and other factors. In 2020, the maximum monthly federal payout for an individual is $783 and the maximum for a couple is $1,175. The state of Alabama administers its own supplemental payments on top of federal payments.
The Application Process
You may be able to apply for SSI benefits online, which can save time and travel. However, you can also make an appointment at your local Social Security office or visit without an appointment to apply.
You supply a variety of documents that show whether or not you meet SSI eligibility requirements. The SSA may decide that they need additional medical information before making their decision, in which case, they pay for the medical exam. After reviewing your information, the SSA will decide whether or not you receive SSI benefits and send their decision to you. If it is denied and you believe it was unfairly denied, you can appeal the decision.
Why You Need a Daphne SSI Lawyer
Working with an SSI lawyer in Daphne can help you save time and get your application completed more quickly, which is crucial when SSI means the difference between paying for food and shelter or going without. The process of determining whether or not you are eligible is, on its own, very complicated. With the numerous exclusions for income and assets, even those who do not think they qualify may find that they are able to receive some sort of support.
During the application process, Walton Law is committed to submitting an application that is as strong as possible. The Social Security Administration is overwhelmed by applications, and they often deny applications the first time simply for not having enough evidence. If you have a strong enough application the first time around, you may be able to bypass the stressful appeal process.
If your application is denied—which is the reality for many first-time applicants—you definitely need a disability attorney to guide you through the appeal process. In many situations, there is simply an error with the application or the SSA needs more in-depth medical information regarding your disability. We can often clear these issues up quickly and get your application submitted promptly. Our goal is to help you get the financial assistance you need.
Turn to Walton Law for Help with Your SSI Application
Getting SSI benefits can help you meet your obligations, lower your stress levels, and get more out of life. That’s why the team at Walton Law works every day to help SSDI and SSI applicants get the benefits they are entitled to. Whether you need help with the initial application process and figuring out if you qualify for SSI or you are frustrated with an SSI denial, let us help. Call our team at 251-455-5819 or contact us online to get started.