Supplemental Security Income

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    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Lawyer in Mississippi

    Supplemental Security Income is a disability program administered by the Social Security Administration. It pays monthly benefits to disabled or blind adults and children. Adults who are  65 and older can qualify for SSI without meeting a disability or blindness prerequisite as long as they meet the income and asset restrictions.

    Strict income and resource or asset limits apply to SSI eligibility. You cannot qualify for benefits if you have more than little or no income. The assets or resources that you own or have available to you must be $2,000 or less for an individual. Couples where both spouses are eligible for benefits cannot have resources above $3,000.

    SSI is a relatively new program that started in 1972. Its monthly cash assistance payment to eligible claimants is to help them pay for food and shelter. SSI does not require a work history and payment of Social Security taxes on the income for eligibility, distinguishing it from the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

    Qualifying for SSI benefits

    As already stated, the eligibility requirements for SSI beneficiaries focus on limited income and resources. However, the disability advocates at Muse Disability Services want you to know that not all income and resources count when your application for SSI undergoes a review. For example, income is classified as earned and unearned.

    Earned income is money you receive from an employer for work you perform. Unearned income comes from sources other than working and includes the following:

    • Pension benefits
    • Social Security benefits
    • Unemployment benefits
    • Interest income
    • Dividends
    • Cash gifts given to you by friends and family

    The first $20 of unearned income you receive each month is excluded when determining eligibility for SSI. If you do not have unearned income, you may apply the $20 exclusion to earned income.

    The first $65 of earned income you receive during a month can be excluded. You also may exclude one-half of your remaining earned income after the  application of the $65 and $20 exclusions. A Muse Disability Services representative can review your financial situation to ensure you do not miss out on exclusions available to you.

    Meeting the financial guidelines is only part of the requirements for SSI eligibility. You also must be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident and reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

    What Do Disability and Blindness Mean for SSI Eligibility?

    Blindness, for adults and children, means having 20/200 central visual acuity or less for distance in the better eye with corrective lenses. You also can qualify for benefits with a visual field limitation of your better eye that causes the widest diameter of the visual field to subtend an angle of not greater than 20 degrees. If all of this confuses you, don’t be alarmed because your representative at Muse Disability Services understands the requirements and knows how to assemble the medical evidence Social Security looks for to approve a claim for disability benefits for blindness.

    For a disability other than blindness, the Social Security Administration has separate definitions it uses for claims submitted for adults or children. Adults must document the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which may include emotion or learning disorders. The impairment or impairments must be expected to last for a minimum of 12 months or be expected to cause death and prevent the person from doing substantial gainful activities.

    An application for SSI benefits submitted on behalf of a disabled child who is younger than age 18 must prove the existence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including emotion and learning disorders, that causes a marked and severe functional limitation. The impairment must be expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death.

    Trusted Advice and Representation from Muse Disability Services

    If a disability prevents you from working or you’re the parent of a blind or disabled child, obtaining financial assistance through SSI can be a struggle, but you do not have to go through it on your own. Muse Disability Services, a national disability benefits firm, can make a difference by helping with applications or appeals of claim denials. Contact us today for a free consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions About SSI

    How Much Can I Make From SSI?

    SSI pays eligible individuals $943 a month in 2024. Married couples with both spouses eligible for SSI receive $1,415 monthly. These amounts represent the federal benefit. Many states authorize a supplemental payment from state funds to people who qualify for SSI benefits.

    Check with a Supplemental Security Income lawyer at Muse Disability Services to learn whether your state supplements the federal benefits.

    Can I Work While Collecting SSI Benefits?

    The income you earn from a job must be reported to the Social Security Administration. It typically reduces the amount of your SSI benefits when your work earnings combined with other sources of income you receive exceed the SSI income limits. The income limits differ from one state to another, but a Muse Disability Services SSI lawyer can advise about the limits in your state.

    How Can I Find an SSI Lawyer Near Me?

    Muse Disability Services offers trusted and compassionate advice and experienced representation to clients in Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.

    Can I Qualify for Both SSD and SSI?

    It is possible for you to have worked long enough to qualify for SSD benefits. If your SSD benefits combined with other sources of income do not exceed the SSI income limits, you may be eligible for SSI. However, your monthly federal SSI benefits will be reduced by the amount you receive from SSD.

    How Can I Challenge a Denial of My Claim for SSI Benefits?

    You have the right to appeal a denial of benefits. An SSI lawyer from Muse Disability Services can lead you through the appeal process to fight for the benefits you deserve. You have a limited amount of time to appeal a decision, so contact Muse Disability Services as soon as you receive notice of a denial from the Social Security Administration.