Experienced Mobile Disability Attorney Helping People Obtain Their Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Are you living on limited income and wondering how you can get the assistance you need? The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program could be the right choice for you. Designed to help those who are elderly or disabled get what they need to meet their basic needs, SSI is a program managed by the Social Security Administration.
However, applying for government programs can sometimes feel like an entire part-time job on its own. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus our practice on helping SSD and SSI applicants get the benefits they are entitled to. If you need help applying for SSI or fighting a denial, we are here to help. Contact Walton Law online or call our team at 251-455-5819 to set up a consultation.
An Overview of SSI
SSI is a program funded by tax revenue, not by money withheld by Social Security. It is intended to help individuals who are blind, disabled, or elderly pay for necessary expenses like food, safe shelter, and clothing. Many people use SSI, along with Medicaid and state support funds, to cover the costs of daily living.
The amount you get is dependent on the resources you have and the other income you earn. If your income is too high or you have too much money tied up in assets, you may not qualify for SSI. There are many factors at play in an SSI application, which is why it is helpful to discuss your application and options with a Mobile disability lawyer.
Figuring Out If You Qualify
First, look at your earnings and income. Income that may count against you in an SSI application includes:
- Earned income, including self-employment earnings, royalties, workshop payments, and wages
- Unearned income, including Social Security benefits, pensions, disability payments, unemployment benefits, and assistance from family and friends
- In-kind income, including food, shelter, or other resources you get for less than their fair market value
- Deemed income, which is part of your spouse’s income or parents’ income (depending on with whom you live) or your sponsor’s income if you are an immigrant
Income that does not count against your SSI application includes the first $20 of income you get each month, the first $65 of earnings each month, tax refunds, SNAP, home energy assistance, need-based assistance from the state, irregular or infrequent small amounts of income, grants and scholarships, food and shelter from nonprofit agencies, and loans.
Resources also determine your eligibility. If an individual has more than $2,000 in assets or a couple has more than $3,000 in assets, they may be unable to receive SSI benefits. Assets that are not counted against you include:
- A home you own and the land it sits on
- A vehicle that you use for transportation
- Household goods and personal effects
- Life insurance policies worth $1500 or less
- Burial spaces
- Burial funds valued at $1500 or less
- Property you use in a trade or business
- Money set aside in a PASS
- Up to $100,000 in an ABLE account
If you have more than $2,000 or $3,000 in resources, you may be able to sell them in order to qualify for SSI. However, if you give away an asset or sell it for less than its market value, you could be ineligible for SSI for up to three years.
Slight changes in resources or income could completely alter the outcome of your SSI application in Mobile. Work with an experienced disability lawyer to ensure that you are submitting the strongest application you can.
SSI Payment Amounts
The amount of support you get depends on whether you are an individual or couple and where you live. Amounts change each year to account for increased living costs. In 2020, an individual living alone or paying their share of housing and food costs receives $783 per month. A couple in the same situation receives $1,175 per month.
An individual living in someone else’s household and not paying their share of housing and food receives $522 per month. A couple in this situation receives $783.34 per month. An individual living in a Medicaid institution receives $30 per month.
Remember that counted income decreases your payment amount. Benefits decrease as you earn more and eventually phase out completely.
How Walton Law Can Help You Get SSI
SSI requirements and qualifications are highly detailed, and without someone helping you through the process, you may not know if you are submitting the correct information or if you even qualify. When you reach out to Walton Law, we’ll meet with you to look at your income, assets, and medical information.
We will tell you whether or not you may qualify for SSI benefits and what your next step should be. If you come to us after having your application denied, we understand how difficult it can be to figure out why you were denied and if you should appeal the decision. We will look into your application, figure out why you were denied, and help you create a plan for moving forward.
We know that people seeking SSI have limited resources and may be unsure about hiring an attorney for fear of legal fees. Our fee is percentage-based, so we only collect money if we recover benefits for you. If we cannot help you get SSI benefits, you do not have to pay any legal fees.
Navigating bureaucratic processes is often a frustrating experience, and too many people give up on SSI benefits because of an initial denial. Getting denied doesn’t mean you don’t qualify; it may mean that you have not provided enough evidence to prove your case.
Reach Out to Walton Law Today
Have you decided to apply for SSI or are you facing a denial? You shouldn’t have to figure out this process alone. Let Walton Law help! Our experienced team of Mobile disability lawyers will fight on your behalf to help you get the financial support you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, reach out online or call us at 251-455-5819. We also provide SSI legal services in Daphne, AL, as well as in Robertsdale, Alabama and Bay Minette.