Some persons with disabilities who are no longer able to work qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). It's a federal program in place to prevent vulnerable persons with a disability fall into economic hardship. There's also another federal financial assistance program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Like the SSDI program, this program was created by the Social Security Act but under Title XVI and is also administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Though the SSI program is available, it doesn't mean anyone who applies will be awarded benefits. In fact, a good amount of applications are denied, and a lot of time is exhausted to fight for these benefits. For some of you, that may have been time well-spent, but for many of you, it could have been time well-spent if an attorney was guiding you through the process and preventing delays and other impediments that cost you time and money.
At Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC, I dedicate my practice to disabled persons who need Supplement Security Income. Contact my firm if you live in North Carolina, are disabled, and want to file a disability claim or appeal a denied claim. I represent individuals in Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and beyond.
Supplemental Security Income is a financial assistance program paid monthly to help qualifying persons pay for things like:
Oftentimes, these benefits are filed at the same time a person files for SSDI benefits. But SSI benefits are different from SSDI benefits in that there was no work requirement, plus these benefits can be made available to blind persons as well as children with a disability or aged persons (over 65 years old) who do not have a disability.
There are several criteria that must be met before you will qualify for SSI benefits. You can qualify for SSI if you are:
Aged 65 years or older;
If you meet one of the above criteria, then you must also satisfy the following:
Are a U.S. citizen or a national and some noncitizen residents
Are a resident of one of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., or the Northern Mariana Islands
Was not absent from the country for more than a full calendar month (30 consecutive days or more)
Are not confined to an institution at the government's expense (e.g., prison, city or county rest home, halfway house, or most other public institutions with exceptions)
Limited income requirements
You must also be willing to give the SSA permission to contact financial institutions to confirm your financials.
If you are applying specifically for Supplemental Security Income Disability (SSID), then you have an additional requirement: proving your health condition meets the legal definition of disability. The three main factors to determine eligibility for someone who is disabled are the disability itself, limited income, limited resources.
For SSID benefits, a person is considered disabled when he or she has a medical condition that
Prevents him or her from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA);
Is a medically determinable physical or mental impairment; and
Is expected to result in death or last for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Basically, to determine if the disability qualifies, the SSA considers the severity of the disability and your capacity to perform job duties as well as day-to-day functions, like bathing, eating, and dressing.
To qualify for SSI benefits because you have a disability, you must meet certain income requirements, which change on January 1st of each new year based on cost-of-living.
Not all income is included in the above-limited amount, but most of the following will be included:
Social Security disability benefits
For individuals, the sum of their assets and resources must not exceed $2,000. For couples, the limit is $3,000.
Assets and resources that qualify for the resource limit include:
Real estate (if you own property worth more than $2,000 while applying for SSID benefits, you may be able to apply while trying to sell the property)
Not included as resources to qualify for SSID include:
Your home and land where you live
Life insurance policies valuing less than $1,500
Your car (in most situations)
Burial plots for you or immediate family members
Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and another $1,500 for a spouse.
You could be denied SSID benefits if:
You do not meet the disability requirement.
You did not provide sufficient medical evidence.
Your income exceeds the allowable limit.
Your resources exceed the allowable limit.
You are institutionalized or otherwise living in a public institution
You are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident.
You were out of the country for more than 30 consecutive days in one year.
There are other reasons, too, both medical and technical, that could lead to a denial. You will have an option to appeal in most instances (many technical denials do not qualify for an appeal). On appeal, you can add additional medical evidence.
To apply for SSID benefits in North Carolina, you can find the forms online or go into a local Social Security Administration office. Before applying, you want to gather the following documents:
Social Security card
Proof of age, e.g., birth certificate
Home information, e.g., mortgage, lease, landlord
Bank books or checkbooks
Burial fund records
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics
Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status.
Once the forms are completed, you can either file online, by mail, or in person. If your application is denied at the initial level or after it was reconsidered, you can appeal.
I am committed to helping my clients with disabilities get the Federal benefits they deserve. I understand the system. I know the law. And I help complete applications or file appeals only after a comprehensive review of the facts and evidence. Contact Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina, today. I serve those in Roanoke Rapids, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and beyond.