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    Breaking Down the Basics of SSI

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based federal insurance program that provides monthly income to persons who are elderly or have a disability that prevents them from finding gainful employment. SSI is typically reserved for individuals who don’t meet the work history requirements necessary to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). The SSI program is tough to qualify for, which is why many people turn to SSI attorneys to secure the financial resources they need. Here is what you need to know about the basics of SSI and how a lawyer can help.

    SSI Payment Amounts

    The monthly payment amount for the SSI program is based on the “federal benefit rate” (FBR). The FBR is the maximum federal monthly SSI payment. In most states (excluding AZ, GA, MS, OR, TN, TX, and WV), the state adds money to your federal SSI payment. If you earn income, or if you receive in-kind support and maintenance, the Social Security Administration will subtract this from your monthly SSI payment.

    SSI and SSD Benefits

    Individuals who receive low monthly SSD benefits may be eligible for SSI payments as well. For example, if you receive SSDI monthly benefits in the amount of $400, an SSI award could be used to guarantee your total monthly benefits equal the FBR. However, there are strict requirements for receiving both SSD and SSI benefits, so you may want to consult with a disability attorney before you file for both benefits.

    When applying for SSI, and especially when appealing a claims decision, trust a legal professional who specializes in the complexities of Social Security law. Whether you are filing your SSI claim for the first time or have been rejected by the Social Security Administration, the disability attorneys at Dixon & Johnston, P.C., can help. Call our office today at (618) 207-3770 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced SSI and SSD attorneys. 

    Disability Qualification Criteria for Social Security

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal insurance program that many workers pay into from each of their paychecks. If you become disabled and cannot work, you are entitled to receive financial benefits as long as you meet certain qualifications. In addition to your work history and tax contributions, there are certain qualifications pertaining to your injury or disability that will determine whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The criteria for Social Security Disability benefits include:

    List of Disabling Conditions

    For each of the major body systems, the Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically entitle you to Social Security Disability benefits. If your condition is not on the list of disabling conditions, the SSA will have to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. Even though the SSA uses a sophisticated computer screening process to identify cases with a high probability of success, you may want to consult with a SSD attorney if your condition is not on the SSA’s list of recognized disabling conditions.

    Future Job Opportunities

    If your condition is severe but not considered equivalent to a medical condition on the SSA’s list of recognized disabling conditions, the SSA must determine whether it interferes with your ability to perform the work you did before you sustained your injury or disease. If it does, the SSA will consider your medical condition, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have to determine if you are able to adjust to other work. If you can, your claim will be denied.

    It can be hard to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits, even if you are legitimately disabled and cannot adjust to other work in the future. Fortunately, the attorneys here at Dixon & Johnston, P.C., can help you receive the benefits you are rightfully entitled to. Visit our website or call us at (618) 207-3770 to learn how our SSI and SSD attorneys can help you

    When are SSI Benefits the Right Choice?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Social Security Disability is a federal program that pays monthly benefits to individuals who are disabled and unable to work. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another federal program available to those who are totally disabled but who are also at or below the poverty line. If you cannot live on Social Security Disability benefits alone, you may be eligible for SSI to supplement your Social Security Disability. As long as you have worked and paid into the program through payroll taxes for at least five of the last ten years, you are eligible to receive SSI benefits. 

    The SSI attorneys at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. can help you receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you are unable to work because of an injury or illness, contact our Social Security Disability attorneys to see how much you may be entitled to. Call us today at (618) 207-3770 to schedule your free initial consultation. 

    How Can Your Social Security PIA be Increased?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    After being awarded Social Security Disability, your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) determines how much you receive each month. Your PIA is based on your earnings before you became disabled. There are only two ways to increase your PIA. The first is a cost-of-living increase (COLA), and the second is an AERO Recalculation. To learn more about these PIA increases, watch this short video presentation. 

    Whether you aren’t earning enough Social Security Disability or you’ve been denied SSD or SSI benefits, the Social Security lawyers at Dixon & Johnston can help. Our accomplished disability attorneys will fight to make sure you earn every penny you are entitled to. Contact us online or call us today at (618) 207-3770 to schedule your free initial consultation. 

    Recalculating Your Social Security Disability Benefits

    Last updated 2 months ago

    If you become disabled and cannot work, you are entitled to receive financial benefits so long as you have qualifying tax contributions. Unfortunately, many claims are initially denied by the government, so you may need the help of a Social Security Disability attorney to access the benefits you are rightfully entitled to. Even after fighting for your benefits, they may not be enough to sustain you and your family. If you can’t live on the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits you are receiving, contact an attorney to learn how you can increase your benefits.

    Cost-of-Living Adjustment

    There are only two ways that your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) can increase. The most widely known type of increase is a cost-of-living adjustment, also called a COLA. This adjustment applies to all Social Security beneficiaries and takes effect at the end of the year in which there has been an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

    AERO Recalculation

    The second way to increase your PIA is through a recalculation of your benefits. Also called an AERO recalculation, this method gives you credit for previously un-credited earnings. This recalculation is done automatically twice a year, in March and October.

    Supplemental Security Income

    If the Social Security Disability benefits you are getting are below the maximum income allowed for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your total income and resources are within SSI limitation, you may qualify for SSI disability payments. Contact an SSI attorney for help applying for SSI benefits.

    Whether you are filing an SSD claim for the first time, you’ve been denied SSD benefits, or you want to increase your benefits or apply for SSI, contact Dixon & Johnston, P.C. Our SSI and SSD attorneys can help you receive the benefits you are entitled to, and you won’t owe us a dime if we don’t win your case. Call us today at (618) 207-3770 to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our Social Security Disability and SSI attorneys



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