Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can provide a safety net for people who have fallen on hard times. While any resident of Gwinnett County is welcome to apply for these benefits, only a select few may meet the program’s strict eligibility requirements. As a result, filing a Gwinnett County SSI claim can become a frustrating and lengthy process.
A seasoned SSI lawyer can help you determine whether your debilitating condition is on Social Security’s official list of impairments. An attorney can also help guide you through the Gwinnett County SSI claims process, gather information needed to make a claim, file an initial application, complete any follow-up information demanded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and attend any meetings or hearings.
An SSI claim is centered around two factors, the first of which is whether the applicant has a medical condition that prevents them from working a full-time job. An applicant can demonstrate the severity of their condition(s) by providing which medications they take, their doctor’s recommendations, how that condition affects their day-to-day life, and a history of medical treatment.
The second factor considers an applicant’s economic situation. SSI is a needs-based program, which means that only people in dire need of assistance can qualify for benefits. Qualifying applicants can keep some essential property such as a home and a car, but they cannot have other properties or affluent bank accounts.
Specifically, a single person must have no more than $2,000 in assets, while a married couple can retain no more than $3,000. Experienced attorneys can help claimants understand these qualifying questions and how they could affect their Gwinnett County SSI claims.
SSI claims can be filed online, over the phone, or in person at a local Social Security office. While the application itself is not complex, it does require a large amount of information and must be accurate. A lawyer can help authenticate an application and check for accuracy and thoroughness.
Initial applications are often met with denials, because many applicants do not suffer from any of Social Security’s qualifying conditions that would make them disabled per se. Because the case falls into this gray area, Social Security subsequently denies the claim.
Fortunately, all applicants have the right to appeal a denial within 60 days from the date they receive it. Appeal paperwork asks for much of the same information as an initial application, but the SSA could request additional paperwork documenting functionality or work history.
Should an appeal receive a denial letter, they can file a second appeal within 60 days of receiving that denial. This would initiate a judge’s hearing, where an applicant would have the opportunity to prove the severity of the disability in question. An attorney may be able to assist an applicant with submitting all required paperwork and could even appear in person to argue a case before a judge.
Regardless of how your disability came into being, you may qualify for SSI benefits so long as it leaves you unable to work. An attorney could help you pursue a Gwinnett County SSI claim, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you may receive benefits. Call our team today to get started.