Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program administered by Social Security to help elderly and disabled people who don’t earn enough money to support themselves. These benefits can be in addition to other financial aid such as Medicaid, although it varies slightly from state to state.
Proof of Need
One of the hardest things about getting approved for SSI is proving that you need it, especially if you’re claiming disability. SSI requirements in West Plains state that your disability must prevent you from earning an income, which can be difficult to prove. This is one reason many people work with an experienced SSI lawyer. Lawyers have access to medical experts who can help you prove the extent of your disability, making it more likely that you’ll be approved.
Determining if You Qualify
The specific SSI requirements depend on your area, so be sure to speak to a local expert to see if you’re eligible. In general, you must be blind, disabled, or over 65 years of age. You must also have a limited income and limited resources (typically no more than two to three thousand dollars in assets). Finally, you must be a citizen of the United States who currently resides in the United States. You won’t qualify if you’re already residing somewhere at the government’s expense (such as a hospital or prison).
If your initial application for SSI is denied, don’t panic. It’s estimated that more than half of initial applications are rejected. You can always appeal your claim by providing additional proof of why you need SSI. Keep in mind there’s a limited time (usually 1 to 2 months) in which you can appeal, so don’t put it off!
Although it’s possible to file an appeal on your own, you’re more likely to be successful if you work with a lawyer at this stage. Your lawyer can help you understand why you were denied and come up with the necessary proof to back your claim.
Finding a Lawyer
Most people filing for SSI hesitate to work with a lawyer because they’re worried they won’t be able to afford it. However, SSI lawyers know they’re working with people with a limited income and usually operate on a contingency basis, where they’re only paid if your claim is approved.
Look for a lawyer experienced in SSI requirements in West Plains. You can get a recommendation from your regular lawyer or look for good reviews online or from friends. Set up an appointment to talk with him or her about your case and learn how to proceed from there.