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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Supplemental Security Income, or “SSI” as it is often called, is a benefits program run by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Title XVI of the United States Social Security Act provides for benefits to be available to disabled children in low income families and seniors age 65 and older who meet the income guidelines. Benefits are paid in the form of monthly deposits.

SSI for Disabled Adults in Boston:

Boston SSI benefits attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC know adults with a disability can apply for SSI benefits if they are blind or disabled, regardless of their employment history. The reason for this is because SSI benefits are not paid though the Social Security Tax program but rather through the United States Treasury general fund.

In order to qualify, your SSI attorney will need to demonstrate that you have a disability or are blind and fall within income guidelines. Calculating income for the purposes of obtaining SSI benefits is a complicated process that is best done with assistance from an experienced disability attorney. Some of the regulations allow portions of any income you receive to be excluded from the adjusted monthly income figure.

For example, the first $20 a month of most income is not counted. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) income, which most people know as food stamps, is also excluded. Home energy assistance programs available to lower income Boston residents is generally not included. There are variety of other exemptions that may assist you in obtaining SSI benefits, and you should speak with your attorney about the facts of your specific situation.

SSI for Children with Disabilities:

SSI benefits are also available for children with disabilities and blind children if the total income for the child’s caretakers is within allowable limits. In the case of blind children and adults, there are additional income exemptions that relate to the cost of living as a blind individual, such as special transportation needs.

SSI for a person 65 Years of Age of Older:

Low-income Massachusetts residents who are age 65 or older may qualify for monthly SSI benefits, even if they are not blind or disabled. This program is designed to assist seniors, and eligibility is based upon income guidelines alone.

How is SSI different from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)?

SSI is different from SSDI in that beneficiaries are not required to have worked and paid taxes into the system. To qualify for SSDI benefits, claimants must have been employed and paid taxes for a certain number of years in order to apply for benefits. The number of years a claimant is required to work will vary based upon the age of the claimant.

How can Boston SSDI attorneys assist me with obtaining benefits?

While the programs are in place to provide benefits, the SSA tends to make it very difficult for people in need to qualify for benefits. This is evident in the fact that far more than half of all claim applications are initially denied, regardless of whether the applicant is entitled to benefits. The appeals process is also very complicated and designed in such a way that the unrepresented claimant is at a serious disadvantage.

Having an attorney who regularly represents SSI claimants can greatly increase the chances of obtaining a full and appropriate benefits award from the SSA. It is best to contact an attorney as early in the process as possible to increase the likelihood of obtaining benefits while reducing the amount of time it takes for a claim to work its way through the system.

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, we are here to help you. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can assist you in getting SSDI benefits.

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