In the United States the Social Security Administration is responsible for managing benefits granted to those that are physically or mentally disabled as well as those that have reached retirement age. For those that are disabled there are two distinctly different programs available; SSDI and SSI.
SSDI (Social Security disability insurance) is a program which is available to those people who have worked and contributed to it through payroll taxes. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) on the other hand is a benefit program which provides money which is to be used for the basic needs to those applicants who are blind or disabled in some fashion and have no other source of income. A SSI disability attorney is one who assists those people with limited income. SSI disability applies equally to both adults and children who are blind or disabled. Although both SSDI and SSI are both administered by Social Security, it is not necessary to have ever worked to receive SSI benefits.
Unlike SSDI which is financed through payroll taxes (FICA), SSI benefits are financed by a general appropriation from the US treasury. These funds are based on income taxes which are paid by companies and individual taxpayers. The amount of money available annually as well as the maximum SSI disability benefit is set on an annual basis as an integral part of the federal budget process. In the majority of states but not all, SSI benefit recipients also get Medicaid which helps with medical costs, prescription drugs, etc. The beneficiary may also be eligible for food stamps in some states.
It is not difficult to apply for SSI benefits but in many cases it is difficult to be accepted for benefits. In cases like this the applicant will often turn to a SSI disability attorney. To qualify for benefits the applicant must be disabled, blind, be at least 65 and have little or no external source of income. The applicant must also be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
The benefit amount is set every year as part of the federal budgeting process, it is adjusted in January of each year to reflect the current COLA; cost of living index. There are well over eight million people receiving SSI benefits.
Although there is a maximum benefit amount the actual amount paid may be less depending on other income such as a wage or other benefits from Social Security.
With the complexity of applying for and being granted Social Security benefits it may be in your best interest to engage the services of a SSI disability attorney for guidance and assistance. You are invited to contact the Davis-Morris Law Firm for more information.