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Supplemental Security Income

SSI: For Those Who Need Help Most

Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is what its title suggests: an additional source of income for the truly needy in the United States of America. It is a federal program, supported by all, to supplement benefits provided to the needy and destitute who are unable to work by each of the 50 states and territories.Unlike Social Security Disability (“SSDI”), SSI is not a plan that you have supported with weekly payroll deductions.

Children and the Elderly May be Eligible

You do not need to be of working age to qualify for SSI. Young children born with severe birth defects can benefit from SSI if their parents have little to no substantial income. The elderly (aged 65 and over) and blind can receive SSI even if they never worked, so long as they do not have $2,000.00 in assets and are unable to do substantial and gainful work. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, persons otherwise cared for in hospitals, nursing homes or prisons usually cannot qualify for SSI benefits.

Can I Work on SSI?

The short answer is yes. But, for a person doing some work, there is a dollar for dollar offset to SSI received for every dollar earned through work, after some allowable deductions, of $20.00 and $65.00 respectively each month. For some individuals who worked enough to qualify for disability, but earned only a small amount each week of their working lives, SSI can be in addition to the disability check.

How Much are SSI Benefits?

Currently, SSI benefits are up to $783.00 per month for an individual. There is an additional amount added when there is also an eligible spouse or essential person, such as a child. There are deductions from the $783.00 when the individual is receiving some financial or in kind support from others. In many cities and states this $783.00 monthly is insufficient alone to meet the needs of food, clothing and shelter; however, it is a helpful supplement to those who may be receiving food stamps, section 8 housing, and free medical care through other sources, such as Mass Health. These other government benefits are not counted against SSI.

How do I Get SSI Benefits?

To get SSI, a person needs to go through the same application and hearing process as those seeking Social Security Disability. Your age, education, language skills, past relevant work and disabilities will be considered to determine whether you are unable to perform any substantial and gainful employment over a period of 12 consecutive months.

Can I Live Abroad and Collect SSI Benefits?

No. You can’t move out of the country and receive SSI monthly checks. It is a crime to do so, though a visit of less than 30 days is allowed.

Marcotte Law Firm Know How to Get Benefits

The Social Security Administration needs everything provided to them in a timely manner; otherwise, the claim gets denied, even for qualified applicants. At Marcotte Law Firm, our lawyers understand what is required to win a claim for SSI. For example, we will get medical records from years past until present, we will ask treating doctors to write supportive narrative letters, we will ask employers and family members to write letters of support. We will even contact U.S. senators and congress members to help constituents to get the SSI benefits they deserve. We work with state government at AFDC to keep your local benefits and food stamps coming while you’re waiting for SSI.

If you’re thinking about applying for SSI, or especially if you’ve been denied, call the attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.

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