Trustworthy Supplemental Security Income Representation from Experienced Murfreesboro SSI Lawyers
Guiding Tennessee residents through the process of applying for SSI benefits
Individuals and families with limited income and resources caused by an inability to maintain employment may be eligible for support under the Supplemental Security Income program, known as SSI. SSI is designed to support individuals aver 65, as well as those unable to work because of disability.
At Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley, our Murfreesboro SSI lawyers take great pride in offering personalized and detailed representation to every client that walks through our door. Whether you need answers to SSI questions, require help applying for benefits or have received notice of a benefits denial, we can help.
What is the SSI program?
Like the Social Security and Social Security Disability programs, SSI provides financial support for individuals of advancing age and those with long-term medical conditions. The program was designed to provide support to individuals and families in financial distress due to limited income and resources.
Unlike SS and SSD, however, the SSI program does not consider your previous work history, or the amount of money you have paid into the SS program throughout your career.
Payments into the SS program are not considered because SSI benefits are financed by general funds of the U.S. Treasury, rather than payments into the Social Security system. These general funds come from a variety of sources, such as personal income taxes, corporate and other taxes.
Who qualifies for SSI benefits?
Eligibility for SSI benefits is generally based on age and medical conditions. Individuals over the age of 65 are automatically qualified to be considered for benefits. Individuals under age 65 with ongoing medical conditions such as blindness or severe disability may also be eligible.
The SSI program operates under similar medical standards for disability as the Social Security and Social Security Disability programs. This means that conditions must be lasting and have a negative impact on the individual’s ability to maintain employment.
It is important to note that there is a separate definition of disability for children under 18 years of age. For this demographic, the medical standard is based on the extent of the disability or condition.
Additional restrictions apply
In addition to the age and medical restrictions, you must meet other criteria to be eligible for SSI benefits. You must also:
- Face financial challenges due to limited income, assets and support resources
- Hold legal residency within the United States
- Not have traveled outside of the country for 30 consecutive days or longer
- Be categorized as a qualified non–citizen
How do I apply for SSI benefits?
There are many ways to apply for SSI benefits, including:
- Calling the SSI department directly – the SSI allows you to apply for benefits over the phone, however, you must first make an appointment to do so
- Visiting an SSI location – Murfreesboro is home to a local SSI office, allowing you to submit your benefits application in person, either during a scheduled appointment or by dropping in without an appointment
Unfortunately SSI applications cannot be filed online at this time.
When filing for benefits, it is necessary to gather and submit documents supporting your claim, such as medical files and financial statements. Working with an attorney during the application process may help to alleviate some confusion and strain.
Appealing a denial of benefits
Individuals who receive notice of a denial of SSI benefits have the right to appeal the decision. The SSI program maintains four levels of appeals, including:
- Reconsideration (for disability claims available in most States);
- A hearing with an Administrative Law Judge
- An Appeals Council Review
- A hearing in Federal Court
If you have received notice of a denial of benefits, do not attempt to appeal the decision without an attorney. There are many legal steps that must be taken during the appeals process. Failure to complete the steps or completing them incorrectly will likely receive in an ultimate denial of benefits.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific concerns with a Murfreesboro SSI lawyer
At Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley, our Murfreesboro SSI attorneys know how confusing and frustrating the SSI program can be. We also know that the thought of spending large sums of money to apply for benefits can be frightening. With those thoughts in mind, we offer comprehensive SSI guidance on a contingency fee basis – this means that you are not responsible for legal fees unless we successfully help you obtain SSI benefits.
We also offer personalized consultations to give you the opportunity to discuss your specific concerns with an experienced Murfreesboro SSI attorney.
To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call 615-893-1331 or contact us online today.