What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI disability is for those who have been mentally or physically disabled for at least 12 months and expect to be disabled for at least another 12 months. The program is designed for aged, blind and disabled people with very little or no income. It provides funds to those who qualify so they can meet their basic needs for food, housing, and clothes. The medical standards for SSI are the same as those for Social Security Disability.
The basic eligibility rules are that you are:
- A. U.S. citizen or national. Some categories of aliens may also qualify as long as they are not under an order of deportation.
- Are totally disabled from any and all work.
- Trying to survive on limited or no resources.
It takes up several months to receive an approval or denial letter. In the North Country of New York (Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties), you must call the Plattsburgh Social Security office at 1-866 296-8271, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to make an appointment to file an SSI application.
The Appeal Process
The Appeal Process is the same as the Social Security Appeal Process. Most SSI applications are denied at first. Fortunately, this is not the end of the story. There is an SSI Appeal process that allows you to continue your fight for benefits. You must file your initial request for an administrative law judge hearing within 60 days of receiving your denial letter. Usually, you will receive the denial letter within five days of the postmark. Although there may be some times that this will not happen and extensions of time to appeal are usually granted. You will generally lose your right to appeal if you do not meet the deadline. If you have missed the deadline, call us – we can file a late appeal for you if you have a good reason for missing it.
There are three levels of appeal in northern New York. So, even if you are denied at one level, you can continue the appeals process through administrative channels. If your claim is still denied, you may take your case to the federal court system.
Level 1: Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
If your application is denied you can ask for a hearing by an administrative law judge. (ALJ) The judge will be new to your case and not have taken part in any previous evaluation or decision. You will have the opportunity to present new medical evidence and call witnesses to testify. The SSI hearings are held in Plattsburgh, using video conference. It usually takes about 14 months from the date of the hearing request to the date of the hearing.
Your attorney will spend time interviewing you and learning about your physical and/or mental impairments. Doctors and other treatment providers will be interviewed, and we will obtain all of your medical records. We then ask you, doctors and providers, to write letters and reports in support of your claims. If necessary, we arrange for independent medical examinations to support your claim. We prepare you for the hearing with the ALJ. We tell what questions to anticipate and help you bring out the strong points in your appeal. Statistics show that you have a better chance of winning an appeal with an attorney representing you.
Please read our SSD Judge Hearing page which goes into greater detail on this process.
Level 2: Appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council
If the administrative law judge denies your appeal, you can then ask for review by the Appeals Council. You must also do this within 60 days of the ALJ denial. Your request for review may be denied or returned to the administrative law judge for further action. The council may make its own decision and either grant or deny your request for SSI disability. We can submit additional records to the Appeals Council to support your appeal.
Read our SSD Appeals Council page which goes into further detail on this process.
Level 3: Federal Court Action
If the decision of the Social Security Appeals Council is unfavorable, you may then file a complaint in the federal district court in your jurisdiction. You must file your complaint within 60 days of receiving the notice that the Administrative Council denied your claim. You will receive the notice within five days of the postmark on the letter denying your claim.
Over the past 17 years, this office has won more federal court appeals than anyone else in the North Country. If the district court denies your claim, you can appeal to the appropriate federal appeals court.
Read more about the SSD Federal Court Appeal.
How Disabilities Effect Benefits
Click on each section below to see how each disability is affected by benefits. Each disability case is different so if you believe you qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits, be sure to contact us for a FREE consultation.
- Heart Attack
- Respiratory Impairments
- Substance Abuse
- Spinal Impairments
- Mental Illness
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
SSI Disability Benefits
If your application is approved, you will receive a maximum monthly benefit of $808 if you are single. The maximum for a couple is $1186.
SSI Disability for Children
There may be SSI benefits for children from birth to age 18 or age 22 if they are regularly attending school. The requirements for a child to be eligible for benefits are similar to those for an adult.
SSI & SSDI Stats and FAQs
Our case victories in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Social Security Cases.
How an Attorney Can Help
Many qualified applicants for SSI are initially denied. If the application is denied and an appeal is required, the attorney will be prepared to go through the next steps, from a request for reconsideration through a federal appeals court hearing if required.
An experienced SSI attorney like Mark Schneider will know what documents are needed and how to properly provide all the requested information for an Appeal. Mark Schneider will help you prepare for testifying at an administrative hearing or in court. He has been doing this work for 34 years. He has represented over 1000 people in SSI and Social Security appeals. Mark Schneider knows what the Social Security administration is looking for and, if it goes to court, he will be ready for what the district court and appeals court judges need. Increase your chances of winning your SSI case. Call SSI attorneys Schneider & Palcsik at (518) 666-6666 for a free consultation. We charge no fees unless we win your case!