Slidell Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Lawyers
Helping people with disabilities in Slidell obtain federal disability benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two distinct avenues of support for disabled individuals. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) focuses on those needing financial assistance, irrespective of their work history. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) supports individuals with a disability who have a documented history of working and contributing a portion of their income to the Social Security Administration. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our attorneys assist individuals with disabilities in New Orleans in obtaining SSI and SSDI benefits. We will outline the criteria for filing for SSI for those with limited income who may not qualify for SSDI. With input from your physicians, we will confirm that your disability hampers your ability to earn a living. When financial challenges arise due to a disability, trust our Slidell SSI attorneys to advocate for the income and health benefits you deserve.
How can we help?
- How does the SSI program work?
- Am I eligible for SSI in Slidell?
- What are the income limitations for SSI eligibility in Slidell?
- What are the asset/resource restrictions for SSI eligibility in Slidell?
- What benefits can I obtain through the SSI program?
- What paperwork do I need to file my SSI claim in Slidell?
- Is anyone else in my family eligible for SSI?
- Do you have a Slidell SSI lawyer near me?
How does the SSI program work?
As per the Social Security Administration, SSI is a federal initiative funded by general taxes, not Social Security taxes. Qualified individuals receive a monthly sum to cover necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. The actual amount may vary among applicants, influenced by factors such as whether their state supplements the monthly payment and whether they possess additional income sources like wages, pensions, or Social Security benefits. If living with a spouse who earns an income, the allocated amount may be subject to reduction.
Am I eligible for SSI in Slidell?
To qualify for Supplementary Security Income (SSI), the applicant must meet the following criteria:
Disability, blindness, or age 65 or older
- For adults: Adults aged 18 or older must have medical evidence demonstrating a physical or mental impairment resulting in an inability to engage in substantial gainful activity, expected to last at least 12 months or lead to death.
- For children: Anyone under 18 must demonstrate marked and severe functional limitations due to a physical or emotional impairment, also expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
- Blindness: A central visual acuity for distance of 20/200 or less in the better eye with a correcting lens or a visual field limitation in the better eye not exceeding 20 degrees.
If an applicant’s disability is evident, e.g., a cancer diagnosis, the SSA will expedite the decision.
U.S. citizenship or nationality
Since August 22, 1996, most non-citizens must fulfill two requirements to be eligible for SSI, including being in a qualified alien category and meeting specific conditions for qualified aliens to receive SSI benefits.
Applicants must reside in Louisiana, other U.S. states, Washington DC, or the Northern Mariana Islands. This is a prerequisite, with certain exceptions for military children and temporarily abroad students.
What are the income limitations for SSI eligibility in Slidell?
According to the SSA, the income threshold for SSI benefits is $1,913 from work each month. Our SSI lawyers in Slidell will clarify which income is included in the limit and which is exempt. Counted income includes wages, self-employment earnings, royalties, Social Security benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, financial assistance from friends and relatives, and the value of free food or shelter.
The SSA also outlines income exclusions, and items not applicable for obtaining food or shelter will not be considered as income. Exclusions include:
- The initial $20 per month
- Income set aside or utilized for a disabled or blind individual's plan for achieving self-support
- State or local assistance based on need that is completely funded by the state or local area within the state
What are the asset/resource restrictions for SSI eligibility in Slidell?
To be eligible for SSI, individuals’ assets cannot exceed $2,000, while married couples can have assets up to $3,000. Applicants are required to provide information about their bank account balances and assets that can be liquidated for cash. However, there are exceptions to these limits—the value of one's primary residence and land is not considered in the $2,000/$3,000 limit. Additionally, one vehicle, personal clothing, household appliances, furniture, and a wedding ring are not counted as resources.
What benefits can I obtain through the SSI program?
The maximum Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2024 are $943 for a qualified individual, $1,415 for a qualified individual with an eligible spouse, and $472 for a necessary individual. These amounts are subject to annual cost-of-living increases.
What paperwork do I need to file my SSI claim in Slidell?
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our SSI lawyers in Slidell help applicants collect the necessary information to strengthen their claims. Our team understands the essential documents and evidence required by the SSA. Some of the necessary documents include:
- Proof of age
- Proof of citizenship or eligible alien status
- Proof of income
- Proof of resources
- Proof of living arrangements
- Work history
- Medical documentation confirming disability or blindness
Many individuals try to file their SSI claims independently, but they often face initial denial because they failed to provide accurate financial, employment, and disability information. Our knowledgeable SSI lawyers in Slidell will guide you on precisely what to provide, when original documents are necessary, and when certified copies may suffice.
Is anyone else in my family eligible for SSI?
Parents have the option to seek SSI benefits for a child if the child is blind and/or disabled. As outlined by the SSA:
- A child can qualify for SSI disability benefits from the time of birth—no specified minimum age requirement.
- Eligibility for SSI disability benefits continues until the child reaches the age of 18.
- Upon reaching the age of 18, the evaluation of impairments aligns with the adult definition of disability.
- If a child has a visual impairment, SSI benefits based on blindness may be available if the impairment meets the defined criteria for blindness.
Do you have a Slidell SSI lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham serves clients throughout South Louisiana. We are located at 1929 2nd St #A, Slidell, LA 70458. We also have a location in New Orleans, and we will schedule phone or video conferences as needed for those who are unable to travel to our offices.
Get help from a respected Slidell SSI lawyer today
Individuals with restricted income who are disabled, visually impaired, or elderly can get financial assistance from the Social Security Income (SSI) program. The Slidell SSI lawyers at the Law Office of James A. Graham are skilled at clarifying eligibility criteria and outlining the benefits available. We'll work with your medical professionals and assist you in navigating the complex SSI process to ensure all necessary documentation is obtained. To initiate the SSI application process in Slidell or South Louisiana, please contact us by phone or complete our contact form to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced SSI attorney.