Supplemental Security Income can help you make ends meet if you suffer from an impairment that prohibits you from maintaining “substantial gainful activity” and you have few assets. As a Social Security disability program, Supplemental Security Income has strict rules on who can qualify. This includes low income and asset limits, as well as providing proof you cannot work because of your medical condition or your age.
A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) lawyer in Florida at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will evaluate your claim for free and help you understand why they did not approve your application. We can help you file an appeal and go after the monthly benefits you need.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free review of your Florida SSI claim.
Qualifying for Florida SSI Based on Your Age or an Impairment
To get SSI benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will need to either meet age requirements or prove you cannot work because you suffer from a permanent disability.
(You might also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments if you have earned enough work credits.)
Qualifying Based on Your Age
You may receive SSI benefits without proving you suffer from a qualifying impairment as long as you are age 65 or above.
Qualifying Based on The Blue Book of Impairment Listings
The SSA publishes the Blue Book of impairment listings, a book that includes dozens of qualifying disabilities and the criteria you must meet to get benefits based on that impairment. Establishing the severity of an impairment requires concrete medical evidence. This evidence might include:
- Medical imaging (x-rays, CT scans, etc.)
- Test results
- Any notes about treatment you have undergone (or are currently undergoing)
- Information about any hospitalizations that have occurred due to your impairment
Qualifying for SSI Based on your Residual Functional Capacity
If you cannot prove you suffer from a qualifying disability based on an impairment listing, you may have another option — your residual functional capacity (RFC). An RFC considers the tasks you are able to do and the rigor of the work you can do (e.g., sedentary, medium duty, etc.)
To determine your RFC, your doctor can fill out an RFC form to help establish your inability to maintain substantial gainful activity.
If your RFC shows that cannot work in any industry where you might be qualified, or that you cannot work long enough or often enough to earn a living, you will likely fit the SSA’s definition of “disabled.”
Meeting Technical Qualifications for Supplemental Security Income
When it comes to getting SSI in Florida, it pays to worry as much about proving your technical qualifications as you do about meeting one of the impairment listings. There are strict rules about how much household income and how many assets you can have and still qualify for benefits.
If the local Social Security field office determines you did not meet this criterion, it will deny your claim before even sending it to Disability Determination Services for a review of your impairment.
Some common reasons we see technical denials include:
- Mistakes on the application
- Household income too high for the strict criteria
- Assets that exceed the strict criteria
It is important to know that not all assets count toward your total. If the SSA is looking at a total that includes your home, vehicle, or work tools, we may be able to present evidence of this and get your technical denial overturned on appeal.
Appealing Your SSI Denial in Florida
The SSA denies many SSI claims they receive, meaning you are certainly not alone if you need to appeal a decision you receive. You must act within 60 days of the date of your notice. You may want to file an appeal if you:
- Disagree about the amount of your SSI benefit; or
- Believe the SSA incorrectly denied your SSI benefits claim
Our team can navigate the appeals process for you. We recommend giving our disability team a call as soon as you receive a denial notice and let us handle your appeal. We can:
- Request an appeals hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge
- Analyze your claim to determine why the SSA denied your benefits
- Help you gather evidence to counter the SSA’s denial
- Offer advice and tips on what to expect at the appeals hearing
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge
- Argue for the Administrative Law Judge to overturn your denial and approve you for benefits
If we can convince the Administrative Law Judge to grant you SSI benefits, you may also receive back pay dating back to the date of your original claim.
If we do not get you approved for SSI during your appeals hearing, we can discuss our next steps. If we continue the appeals process, we have the option to proceed to an Appeals Council review. We may also be able to proceed to federal court if we cannot get approval from the Appeals Council.
Talk to a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Lawyer in Florida
The disability attorneys from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand why the SSA denied your SSI claim, and help you fight for the benefits you need. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for your free case evaluation, and to get started on appealing your SSI denial as soon as possible.