Understanding Supplemental Security Income in Florida
Experienced legal counsel explains SSI eligibility requirements
Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD) are both income assistance programs administered through the Social Security Administration, eligibility for SSI does not depend upon credits earned in the workforce.
Funded by general tax revenues, SSI is intended as a cash benefit to provide basic needs ― including food, clothing and shelter for the aged, blind, disabled or impoverished. Our attorneysat Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. are committed to using our legal skills and experience to relieve hardship faced by the infirm or disabled.
With 15 years of experience helping clients throughout Florida, we can help you understand and apply for SSI benefits.
Are you eligible for SSI in Florida?
Eligibility for SSI focuses on physical and financial limitations. Eligibility requirements for an adult include the following:
- Aged 65 or older
- Statutory blindness
- Medical or emotional impairment meeting criteria for disability under the definition of the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- U.S. citizen or eligible alien
- Access to limited income and resources
In calculating your income and resources, the SSA does not include certain income, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, non-profit shelter, home energy assistance and a portion of the income you receive each month. Included in assessment of your income are items including:
- Bank and investment accounts
- Stocks and retirement accounts
- Real estate
- Spousal income and assets
An individual with resources of approximately $2,000 may qualify for SSI. The current resource amount for a couple is $3,000.
For eligible recipients, the state of Florida adds to the federal SSI payment with a state supplement.
What if you are denied SSI benefits?
If the Social Security Administration determines you do not meet the eligibility requirements for SSI benefits, you will receive a letter informing you of their decision and your right to appeal the decision.
Appeal for denial of SSI benefits is similar to the appeal process for Social Security Disability (SSD). Within 60 days of receipt of your letter notifying you of denied SSI benefits, you must request reconsideration of your SSI application. The process includes:
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court
As with any Social Security matter on appeal, working with an attorney is not necessary, but it can significantly increase the possibility of being awarded and keeping SSI and SSD benefits.
If concerned about eligibility requirements for SSI, or if you were denied benefits, speak with our legal team. Our goal is to achieve the benefits you need and to which you are entitled.
Speak to Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A.
Serving clients in Palm Beach County, Martin County and Orlando, Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. offers high-quality legal representation and committed client service to help you obtain Workers compensation, disability and other benefits you deserve. If injured on-the-job or disabled in Florida, we can help.
We offer evening and weekend appointments when needed and will travel to you if you cannot visit one of our offices. Contact us online or at 561-687-5660 for a consultation.