If you have a disability and live off limited income or assets, you may be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Those who are disabled, blind, or 65 years old or older may qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Our Muskegon Supplemental Security Income lawyers are ready to help you!
What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
Knowing the difference between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be helpful in making a claim and exploring legal options. SSDI benefits are available to those who have paid into the Social Security system and can no longer work. To qualify for SSDI you must qualify as disabled according to the Social Security Administrations qualifications. SSI, on the other hand, is entirely separate from SSDI. It is a nationwide program that offers financial assistance to those with little or no income. Like SSDI, a person must meet the necessary requirements to qualify for SSI. Because these are two separate programs you may be eligible to qualify for both types of benefits. Our lawyers are here to help determine which claims you qualify for and to walk you through the entire process.
Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must also:
- Not live in a public institution
- Be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien
- Not have an unsatisfied felony or arrest warrant
- Be a resident of the United States or the Mariana Islands
How to Apply for Supplemental Security Income
You can apply for SSI benefits online through the SSA’s website, via the phone, or at your local Social Security office. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment if you wish to apply in person.
When you apply, you should have various supporting documents to demonstrate your condition, such as:
- Contact information for the doctors you’ve seen.
- A list of treatments you’ve tried and medicines you’re taking.
- A description of any change in your work and activities since the onset of your disability.
You will also need basic contact information and your Social Security number.
How to Appeal SSI Denial
If a disability determination examiner denies your claim, you have the option to appeal the decision. If the initial decision is not overturned, you may continue to advocate your claim at a hearing, or even go on to federal court. Most SSI claims are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration levels.
Before the hearing, you’ll want to gather strong supporting evidence, particularly medical records, to document your disability and any hardships you’ve experienced because of it. This evidence is submitted to an administrative law judge (ALJ), who will review the evidence and any witness testimony before making a decision. If you hire an attorney or engage a disability advocate, they can help you prepare your case and speak for you during the hearing.
Don’t Wait to Get Help Today
Though you may choose to handle your own SSI case, you have the option to retain experienced legal representation. Titles II, XVI, and XVIII of the Social Security Act give you the right to be represented by a Muskegon SSI attorney during your application or appeal. At Nolan & Shafer PLC, we want to be the ones to make sure you receive all the benefits you’re eligible for. If you engage us for representation, you can be sure that we will handle your case with the time and attention it deserves.
“I would highly recommend Nolan & Shafer! Matt was my attorney and he was always accommodating, very kind, and helpful.”Courtney S.
“Great job Matt and Nolan’s & Shafer. If you need representation give them a call!”Steve G.
“He is someone I trust and now am happy to call him a friend.”Marvin D.
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