Nearly 66 million Americans receive Social Security payments, and Houston has its fair share of beneficiaries. While most people might think of Social Security primarily as a retirement benefits system, it also has other programs that serve crucial functions.
Supplemental Security Income is one of these programs that is important for many people across the country who need economic help. Although the Social Security Administration oversees the SSI benefits program, the money comes from the U.S. Treasury, not from the general Social Security Trust Fund. Also, unlike Social Security Disability benefits, SSI does not have requirements with regard to a person’s work history.
SSI is available to help blind people, disabled individuals and people over the age of 65 to cover their living expenses. The program also helps children with disabilities. An applicant does not need to show a work history to qualify for SSI, though they cannot qualify if their income and assets exceed a certain threshold. In addition, some people who qualify for SSI may also be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Although Social Security programs are designed to help people in need, getting those benefits is not always easy. For example, if a person does not properly and completely fill out the benefits application, the SSA could deny a claim. Likewise, failure of an applicant to submit the appropriate evidence of their medical condition could be a basis for the SSA to deny the claim. In some cases, however, the SSA just gets it wrong and rejects an SSI application for reasons that are not legally sound.
Regardless of one’s situation, legal assistance may be beneficial when seeking SSI benefits. An experienced Social Security attorney can help people through the legal process of applying for benefits, or appealing claims that the SSA denied.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits,” accessed on Oct. 16, 2016