supplemental security income lawyer

Same-Sex Couples May Now Qualify for Supplemental Security Income

by Staff | June 30th, 2014

Proving to Social Security Administration that you’re in need of assistance through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a difficult process, but it can be even more frustrating when you’re denied access to the program based on a lifestyle choice.

In the past, individuals involved in same-sex marriages or relationships could not have their relationship status recognized by the Social Security Administration. This is because federal policy prohibited same-sex couples from being able to jointly file for benefits.

This has changed with a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. According to Investment News, the SSA will now not only recognize a married couple of the same sex when an application is submitted, but will also use a spouse of the same sex’s information when making a decision in a disability or Supplemental Security Income case.

In order for a couple to qualify for Social Security spousal benefits, the pair must have been married for at least one year and also be residents of a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.

Many U.S. citizens have seen this change in policy as the beginning of a new age for equality and the Supplemental Security Income Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos and Newlin are here to help if you or your loved one are seeking Social Security benefits.

How Does Income Affect Supplemental Security Income Eligibility?

by Staff | December 9th, 2013

December 9, 2013

For those who have little to no resources for income and are 65 years old or younger, blind, or disabled, the federal government offers a program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as assistance. However, the Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain anyone wishing to receive these benefits must meet certain income criteria.

According to a release from the Social Security Administration (SSA), an individual wishing to receive SSI benefits may not have countable income resources exceeding $2,000, while a couple is only allowed to have $3,000 in resources. Those who have more assets than this amount may also receive benefits if they reach a special agreement with the SSA that says the recipient will sell off some of their resources.

Two types of property can be sold in order to reach required maximum income resource limits: real and personal property. Real property includes assets such as land or a house where an individual lives. Personal property is considered any item of value that is non-excluded, including secondary vehicles.

The SSA will award benefits under certain conditions for up to nine months while an individual liquidates real property, while only three months of benefits will be awarded if personal property is being sold.

Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin’s team of attorneys recognizes how complex the regulations overseeing Supplemental Security Income Eligibility can be. That is why the firm suggests anyone considering applying for such benefits first discuss their case with a reputable attorney.

Woman’s Supplemental Security Income Benefits Affected By Loss of Home

by Staff | November 27th, 2013

November 27, 2013

There are currently more than 4.7 million Americans who depend on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as their main resource for money. In order to receive these benefits though, individuals must meet certain income requirements. Acquiring more funds than the law limits will lead to a loss of benefits.

An article from ABC 6 News told of how one woman had been negatively affected by these rules after her home burned down. Reports indicated the woman had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease more than 15 years ago and was later awarded a meager benefits package from the Social Security Administration (SSA) due to her lack of income caused by the condition. When her house burned to the ground last February though, the woman was awarded a $47,000 settlement check from her homeowner’s insurance policy.

The woman was required to report her income and spending to the SSA, but was shocked to learn her payments were halted due to the check she received for her home. The SSA argued the money counted against the woman’s annual income, which is limited to $2,000 per month, and made her ineligible for benefits.

While the victim has been allowed to reapply for SSI, there is no knowing when a resolution in the matter will be reached.

The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how complicated the process can be to receive benefits. That is why the firm is here to help anyone considering applying for such assistance.

Several States Developing Programs For Getting Kids Off Supplemental Security Income

by Staff | November 18th, 2013

November 18, 2013

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program designed to offer assistance to those who are unable to work due to a physical or mental condition and have limited income resources. The program has a history of failing to get young recipients back into the workforce though, which has prompted the government to offer several states millions of dollars to develop campaigns that are effective at placing SSI recipients back into the workforce.

According to an article published by Disability Scoop magazine, a total of 11 states will receive a portion of more than $200 million to be used as part of the Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program. The money is to be used to help children in homes that receive SSI benefits graduate from high school, complete a secondary education or receive job training, and acquire employment.

States receiving the funds include:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Wisconsin
  • Utah
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Colorado
  • Arizona

The Social Security Administration, along with the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, are providing funding for the project.

The Social Security Disability Lawyers with the law firm of Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos, and Newlin applaud the government’s effort to assist those who are most in need and are hopeful the project is a success!

SSA Highlights Need For Supplemental Security Income Recipients To Report Wages

by Staff | October 2nd, 2013

October 2, 2013

For those who do not have enough resources for income to support themselves and their families due to a disability, the government provides several options for assistance. The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that one of the most common benefits dispersed to those in need is a benefit known as Supplemental Security Income.

This benefit is offered to individuals who are over the age of 65-years-old, blind, or disabled. While programs like Social Security Disability consider work history in the approval process, Supplemental Security Income is considered to be strictly a need-based benefit. This means the amount an individual is awarded is based off of their annual income.

That is why the Social Security Administration says that it is so important for those who receive these benefits to report the wages they earn to the agency to ensure they are paid the proper amount of benefits. Reporting wages can be achieved by visiting a local Social Security office, or by calling or writing as well. The agency also has an app for Smartphones that can be utilized to report wages.

Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin’s team of attorneys recognize how complicated the process of claiming and receiving benefits can be for the disabled. That is why the firm is here to help anyone who is considering applying for such assistance and has questions regarding how the claim will be handled.

Number of Supplemental Security Income Claims Higher Than Ever Before

by Staff | September 23rd, 2013

September 23, 2013

Over the past several decades the number of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients has steadily swelled, especially among claims being made for children. While most recipients consider these benefits a lifeline, the increasing costs have many citizens questioning what the future holds for the program.

The Supplemental Security Income Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin point to data that indicates in 1974, when the SSI program was first launched, the total number of disabled children receiving benefits was approximately 71,000. By 2011 though, roughly 1.3 million disabled children were receiving benefits, costing taxpayers around $9.3 Billion annually.

An article released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says there are several reasons for this increase in claimants. One of the major influencing factors came when a precedent-setting court case eased the qualifications for receiving SSI benefits. Then later, rulings allowed for more liberal interpretations of these standards, allowing more citizens to be considered eligible for payments through the program.

The increase in the number of payouts is only complicated by the fact that many claimants will continue to collect benefits for the rest of their lives, rather than entering the workforce at some point.

The law firm’s team of attorneys explain the shortage of funding these issues are creating could complicate the approval process for new claimants and encourage those considering applying for benefits to discuss their case with a reputable attorney immediately.

What Benefits Are Disabled Children Eligible For?

by Staff | July 31st, 2013

July 31, 2013

For many Americans, a mental or physical condition leaves them unable to work and with limited resources for income. A large number of these individuals have suffered from their condition since childhood as well. This leaves many wondering, “What government benefits, if any, are available to children with disabilities?”

Regulations only allow for individuals who are over the age of 18-years-old and who have worked a certain amount of time to receive Social Security Disability Benefits. The only way a child can receive such benefits is if they had a parent who was disabled and that parent dies.

Children may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the federal government though. The requirements for a child to be awarded such benefits include:

  • The child must not work and cannot earn more than $1040 per month
  • The child must suffer from a condition that places them with “marked and severe functional limitations”
  • The condition must persist for at least 12-months or put the child at risk of death

The Social Security Administration released a statement saying an application for SSI benefits could be filed online or in person at a local office. However, the Supplemental Security Income Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that the documentation needed and process of filing such a claim can be quite complex. That is why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you are considering applying for SSI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income Can Offer The Disabled Another Income Resource

by Staff | July 26th, 2013

July 26, 2013

For many who are unable to work due to a long-lasting mental or physical condition, benefits from the federal government, such as Social Security Disability, may be their only source of income. These funds are not always enough to make ends meet though, leaving a large portion of recipients looking for other income resources.

This is where Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can come into play. SSI is different from Social Security Disability in the sense that it is strictly based off of need and not work history. This leaves many citizens wondering what the qualifications for such benefits are.

The Social Security Administration, who oversees the distribution of SSI funds, explains that citizens who are over the age of 65-years-old, are blind, or who are disabled may be eligible for SSI benefits. These individuals must also have limited sources of income or resources for income. They must also hold United States citizenship or be in a certain category of legal alien.

Those who are interested in applying for such benefits can either fill out the necessary paperwork at a local Social Security Administration office or go online and complete the application.

The Supplemental Security Income Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are aware of just how life-changing receiving SSI benefits can be for some and are here to answer any questions an individual considering applying for such benefits may have.

What Qualifies An Individual For Supplemental Security Income?

by Staff | June 28th, 2013

June 28, 2013

Millions of Americans each year are left unable to work due to a mental or physical condition. This often leaves them reliant on assistance programs, such as Social Security Disability, in order to make ends meet. For many, these funds aren’t enough to make ends meet.

The government has created a program that provides additional funding to these individuals, called Supplemental Security Income. Many citizens wonder though, “What are the qualifications for Supplemental Security Income Eligibility?”

The Social Security Administration explains that in order to qualify for such benefits, an individual must either be over the age of 65, blind, or disabled in some way. Furthermore, the individual must also be a citizen and have limited income and/or resources.

Those who are not citizens of the United States may still be able to qualify for benefits if they meet certain criteria of what is considered a “qualified alien”.

Those who are ineligible for these benefits include:

  • Fugitives of the law
  • Anyone in prison or jail
  • Anyone admitted to a public institution
  • Any recipient absent from the United States for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days

The Supplemental Security Income Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how complex the eligibility and application processes for benefits can be. The firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you are considering applying for benefits or have a claim that has been denied in the past.

President Asked To Change Restrictions On Receiving Supplemental Security Income

by Staff | April 19th, 2013

April 19, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Council on Disability (NCD) called on President Barack Obama to drastically reform certain limits on assets individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must adhere to.

An article from Disability Scoop explains, an individual receiving SSI is not allowed to possess more than $2,000 under the current law. This limit has been in place for almost 25 years. Jeff Rosen, Chairman of the NCD, asked in a letter to the White House that the limit be bumped to $10,000. He also stated stipulations to the law should be added that would allow for fluctuations in the limit based on inflation rates.

The letter goes on to explain how the current limits can work to prevent citizens who receive SSI from saving money, which keeps many living at poverty level. The inability to save, combined with budget cuts and the sequester, has significantly affected the livelihoods of a staggering number of SSI recipients.

The letter also called for the president to ease restrictions on Medicaid coverage by allowing a recipient to keep their policy in certain situations, such as if they move or have an income change.

Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin and their team of Social Security Disability Attorneys acknowledge the difficulties current limitations can impose on a demographic of citizens who are most in need of assistance. The firm urges anyone considering applying for SSI to discuss their legal rights and options with a qualified attorney first.