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Eligibility for SSI: Income and Asset Limits
Posted April 17, 2017

Supplemental Security IncomeFor a disabled person to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they have to meet the asset and incomes limits, apart from fulfilling the SSA’s criteria for disability. Unlike Social Security Disability benefits, SSI is a program based on an individual’s needs and is available to people with limited resources. These resources may include cash or money in your bank, real estate, bonds and stocks, and any other asset with a monetary value.

Eligibility for SSI

To qualify for this program, the disabled person must have countable resources less than $2,000. In the case of a couple, it should be less than $3,000. Items that may not be included in the calculation of countable resources include:

  • Your primary home
  • Some personal and household items
  • Life insurance policy with face value of $1,500 or less per person
  • One vehicle used for transportation purposes
  • Any property that you or your partner uses to carry out certain jobs or business activities
  • Your burial plots or of your immediate family members

SSI limit for Income

The income limit for obtaining SSI is equal to the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). For an individual in 2017, it is $735 per month, while for a couple it is $1,103. The benefit amount changes almost every other year. You should keep in mind that not all income comes under countable resources and if you earn more than this figure, you may still be eligible for SSI.

In certain situations, the SSA may also take into account the income of household members living with the SSI recipient. If your spouse doesn’t receive SSI some part of their income will be counted when calculating your countable income. In the case of a disabled child who applies for SSI, some of the parent’s income will be considered as the child’s income.

What are State Supplements?

The state you live in also determines the amount of income you can have in order to be eligible for SSI. A majority of the US states provide supplemental payment to people receiving SSI, including Illinois. State supplements may be between $10 and $700. The limit of SSI income increases with the state supplement amount. This allows individuals qualifying for a higher amount of monthly SSI to be able to earn more countable income while still being eligible for SSI.

However, it may become hard to determine the precise income limit for SSI applying to you, as it is difficult to exact state supplement amount that you are eligible to receive. The amount varies in most states based on an individual’s living conditions. For example, if a person is a nursing home resident, they may be eligible for higher state supplements than others.

If you want to know whether you qualify for receiving SSI benefits or your application has been denied, you should talk to an experienced Social Security attorney to discuss your case. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

Do you Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Posted March 16, 2017

Social Security AttorneyThe United States has a great system which does not leave the people who have sustained a disability in their later life to fend for themselves. People who are suffering from diseases such as congestive heart failure, late stage kidney disease and cancer, or even people who have sustained a permanently damaging injury due to aging effect or residual conditions may become eligible for a disability benefit.

There are certain rules that the government has set to ensure that a person who truly deserves the benefits receives them. These include:

  • The person in question must have a mental or physical disability
  • The disability hinders the person’s ability to do gainful work
  • The disability must be one that has lasted or will last 12 months, or can lead to the death of the affected.

Proving a disability can be very difficult which is why, when seeking out a disability benefit, it is advised to talk to a lawyer who is reliable in this field of work. Here are some guidelines for people who are claiming a disability benefit.

Physical or Mental Disability

It is clear that the benefit is only meant for people who are medically declared as being physically or mentally impaired. For people who are claiming a disability benefit, organizing all your documents, including doctors’ and medical bills that have been paid in the last year, can easily prove to the social security administration that you have a legitimate reason to acquire the benefit.

Disability hinders the ability to perform substantial work

For people claiming a disability benefit, having a link between you and your disability not letting you perform at your current job, must be strong. Once this link has been established and confirmed, the administration will then judge whether you are able to perform well at any other job that can pay more than $1,170 per month. If not, then you will be legible to qualify for a disability benefit.

Disability should be lasting

The disability should be one that can last for or has lasted for 12 months. For this, you can contact your doctor and ask for a letter that confirms the disability as one which is either fatal or long lasting.

For people who are seeking this benefit, taking out the time to get into the details of social security law and how it operates can be difficult. With the disability, the person can have a hard time going to places and getting everything in order. For this purpose, hiring a lawyer who is experienced in social security law can help ease things a lot.

Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been representing clients successfully for over 30 years. To schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney, contact us today, at (800) 608-8881.

Reporting a Social Security Disability Fraud
Posted February 14, 2017

Social Security Disability LawyerSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a great program providing benefits to people who have suffered from a severe medical condition due to which they have become unable to resume their job. If you have been employed and paid your income tax, this means you have made payments for SSDI converge. However, sometimes people try to fabricate their medical condition, and opt for fraudulent ways to collect SSD benefits. Because of this, people who are eligible and in dire need of this monetary support usually suffer and are deprived of their right to receive said support.

Determining whether a person is being unfair and taking advantage of the system is often difficult, and sometimes leads to false accusation. It is imperative that before you report someone of an alleged fraud, you thoroughly investigate the matter and have solid evidence backing as to how they are tricking the SSA.

Examples of SSDI Fraud

Several different ways have been discovered of SSD fraud up till now. Here are some common examples to help you understand what constitutes as a scam:

  • Fabricated Documents: It will be fraud if a falsified document is forged leading to misapprehension, like a Social Security card on which information has been altered.
  • Inaccurate Statements: If a person simply gives misinformation and makes false statements on their disability application, like they have a certain medical condition or incorrect value of income, it will be considered as fraud.
  • Fraud by a Representative Payee: The SSA appoints a payee to ensure the funds are used for taking care of needs and welfare of the beneficiaries with disabilities. If such a person misuses these funds, that will be fraud.
  • Hiding Important Information: This is another form of fraud where a person conceals information, like not reporting recovery or improvement in their medical condition, to continue receiving benefits.

Reporting SSDI Fraud

If you suspect someone is committing fraud against the SSA, there are a number of ways you can report that person. You can start by calling (800) 269-0271, which is a toll-free number to the Office of the Inspector General, and explain the entire situation with all the reasons behind your suspicion. If you are confident and have all the facts supporting your claim, you can report the person committing fraud via its website by filling an online form. The mailing address, the hotline number, and a FAX number can also be found on the website.

It is advisable you provide as much information about that person, such as name, address, birth date, phone number, and Social Security number. Moreover, explain how the person is committing fraud, names of other people who may be aware of their scheme, and an estimate of the time since they have claiming these benefits.

You have the option to file your report as anonymous, but it is recommended you provide your personal information. This will allow the SSA to contact you and ask for more information to help with their investigation.

Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

SSA Continues to Help Veterans and Homeless People to Access Benefits
Posted January 12, 2017

The Social Security Administration has been fighting to reduce poverty and help homeless people to avail benefits in the United States for many years now. Recently, SSA went up a notch in their efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans and seniors. Carolyn W. Colvin, the Acting Commissioner, declared the Social Security Administration as the the most successful anti-poverty program to help vulnerable populations in United States history.

“Social Security plays a key role in reducing homelessness, and our benefit payments help people to secure and maintain stable housing,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said. “Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in our country’s history and collaborates with other federal, state and local agencies to ensure that veterans, people who are disabled, have lost a loved one, or are retiring have access to our benefits and services.”

Collaborative Efforts

The SSA is working in collaboration with other state, federal, and local agencies to make sure that people who have lost a loved one, are disabled, retiring, or veterans can easily access their services and benefits. The state and federal officials conducted meetings earlier this year to discuss outreach programs and initiatives for eliminating homelessness among vulnerable populations at a forum known as Ending Homelessness: Lessons Learned from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In 2015, Virginia achieved the impossible: it eliminated homelessness among veterans. Following Virginia’s example, many state and federal agencies are trying to replicate the practices to attain success. Social Security has developed several key strategies in order to connect homeless seniors and veterans to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

The Role of SOAR

With SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) initiative, the SSA has been receiving more and more disability applications. Since these applications are complete because they are filled with the help of an agency representative, their approval rate is quite high. This is especially helpful for homeless people who face great difficulty in getting medical records and documenting their cases.

Funded by the SAMHSA, SOAR is a national project initiated to provide greater access to SSDI and SSI benefits for eligible adults. They include individuals who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless and have some kind of medical impairment, mental illness, and/or substance use disorder.

In a report by Arloc Sherman and Kathleen Romig of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it has been found that Social Security benefits have helped more than 22 million Americans out of poverty. This figure continues to soar by the passing day, and it is safe to say that the SSA’s efforts are bearing fruit.

If you are eligible for availing Social Security disability benefits, but having difficulty in filing for it or your application has been denied, you should consult your case with a reliable and experienced social security disability attorney. Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd has been successfully representing clients for over 30 years to get their rightful benefits. Contact us today at (800) 608-8881 to schedule a consultation with our Social Security disability attorney.

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