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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Attorneys


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a “needs-based” program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that pays benefits to blind, disabled, or aged (65 or older) persons with limited income and resources. Resources for the program come from the general tax fund and are not based on what an applicant has paid into the program. A Disability Attorney will fight for your rights.

Benefits are also paid to people who are age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

Benefits are typically paid on the 1st day of each month.

SSI and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program differ in that SSI is based on financial need and not how much an individual has worked during their lifetime.

Qualifications for SSI

In order to receive SSI benefits, an applicant must prove they meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • 65 or older, OR blind OR disabled [anchor text for link to SSDI article], AND
  • Legal residence in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands,  a child of military parents assigned outside the US, or a student abroad temporarily, AND
  • Limited income and resources
According to the SSA, “disabled” means “inability to engage in any significantly gainful employment by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of no less than 12 months.  

It should be noted that SSI benefits are not paid solely to US citizens, but also to certain aliens legally residing in the United States.  

An applicant’s qualifying income is computed based upon factors including:
  • The state wherein an individual lives
  • Number of people living in the residence
  • Type of income (if any)
Determination of SSI Benefits

Your initial application for SSI may be denied by the Social Security Administration. If you are denied benefits in the initial determination or review of your application, you have the option of filing an appeal.

The levels of appeal are:
  • Reconsideration
  • Administrative Law Judge Hearing
  • Appeals Council Review
  • Federal Court
You must request an appeal in writing within 60 days of the date you receive your notice of determination after you initially file for benefits.  

Many people find this process complex and overwhelming.  Hiring an experienced disability attorney to handle your claim for SSI may improve your chances of a favorable decision for benefits.


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