For certain people with limited income, Supplemental Security Income can help financially. Although administered by Social Security, SSI differs from regular Social Security benefits in that prior work and paid taxes do not affect whether or not someone is eligible for SSI benefits.
There are certain eligibility requirements someone must meet to receive SSI benefits. If a person applies for benefits and receives a denial, there is an appeals process one can go through.
Supplemental Security Income eligibility
According to AARP, one must meet certain qualifications to obtain SSI benefits. One must be a lawful resident or citizen of the United States, be blind or have a disability or are 65 years of age or older and have limited financial resources.
Social Security considers income and countable income, which does not include transportation vehicles, the person’s home or household goods.
The SSI appeals process
According to the Social Security Administration, a person can appeal the administration’s decisions regarding eligibility or any changes made to the benefit amount. If someone does not agree with the administration’s initial determination, the person must respond with an appeal request within 60 days of receiving the notice. If the request appears within 10 days, regular benefits continue until there is an appeal decision.
If, upon receiving the reconsideration determination, the person is still in disagreement, he or she may request a hearing within 60 days. Prior to the hearing, the person or his or her attorney can submit new evidence. The judge may also request witness testimony at the hearing.
If the judge does not make a favorable decision, the person may request an Appeals Council review within 60 days. If this decision is disagreeable, the person may file a civil action in federal court.
During all steps of the appeals process, the Social Security Administration can assist with form completion and filing and may even pay for travel costs and any requested medical exam. However, they do not assist with any federal court filing or proceedings.