Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides income benefits to help people with limited resources meet their basic needs for shelter, clothing, and food. The program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal agency that also handles retirement benefits and long-disability benefits for workers.
To obtain SSI benefits, individuals must file an application that will be reviewed in detail by SSA staff. Atlanta SSI claims can take a while to process and often result in denials, so applicants often find it helpful to seek advice from a well-versed attorney when filing a claim or appealing a denial.
In many cases, people who are eligible to receive SSI benefits meet with denials when they file a claim. The rationale behind such a denial is not necessarily lack of eligibility but rather a failure to adequately demonstrate that the claimant meets the qualifications.
Documentation is usually the key—in other words, the claim must show that an applicant has limited financial resources when taking into account all types of income and available assets. In addition, the applicant must either be at least 65 years old or suffer from a disability that renders them unable to work in any paying employment.
SSA staff members apply stringent standards when reviewing Atlanta SSI claims. Many applicants will need to demonstrate that they suffer from a long-term disabling condition that prevents them from working, which typically requires substantial medical evidence and often vocational evidence as well.
For an SSI claim to succeed, an applicant should first determine eligibility and then determine how to best document that eligibility. Advice from an experienced legal advocate can prove helpful in this process.
After ascertaining eligibility and gathering the required information, an SSI applicant may start by calling the SSA to make an appointment to begin the process over the phone or simply come into the Atlanta SSA office to file their application. Certain applicants may complete some or all of the process online.
Once SSI claims are submitted, they are reviewed by SSA staff to see if the applicant meets the agency’s standards. If the SSA denies the claim, the applicant may request a reconsideration and may submit additional evidence to support the claim. If the staff deny the claim on reconsideration, it is possible to seek an administrative hearing.
This hearing often provides the best opportunity to demonstrate the worthiness of an SSI claim in Atlanta. However, if the judge’s ruling is unsatisfactory, the applicant may request a review by the SSA Appeals Council. Eventually, a claim may also be appealed in federal court.
The process of filing and appealing Atlanta SSI claims can be frustrating. Agency staff members are looking for specific types of information, and it can be challenging to determine what you need to submit when all they will tell you is that you have not submitted enough.
Guidance from an attorney who understands the SSI claims process can reduce the confusion and help you reach a successful outcome. Persistence can lead to an award of SSI benefits, but it is important to pay attention to requirements and deadlines. Call our intake team today to get started.