Indiana Supplemental Security Income Lawyer

It is not easy trying to make ends meet while also dealing with a disability. A disability may make doing certain tasks difficult or make being social at work or with customers challenging. While you are trying your best, you may also simultaneously feel like you are falling behind.

The Social Security system has a program intended to help make sure that those with disabilities don’t end up falling through the cracks. The Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI, is meant to help relieve some of the financial burdens that people may find themselves in due to their disability. The question is, if this program is so helpful, why are so many disabled people struggling?

At Hankey Marks & Crider, we have heard from numerous people just like you. The prospect of SSI is promising, but the process is confusing, complicated, and mired down in red tape. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t make the process simple or straightforward, and many people find that making even the smallest error means a denial of benefits.

According to data taken from the Social Security Office, as many as 65 percent of disability claims are denied. The law firm of Hankey Marks & Crider can help you up that success rate. We understand how to navigate the process and the paperwork and strive to make things as easy as possible for our clients. If you need help filing for SSI benefits, contact our office at (317) 634-8565 to discuss your options.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI benefits, is a government need-based program for the disabled. The program is funded by general taxes and is distributed to individuals based on their income and assets. Typically, SSI benefits are allotted as a monthly income paid out to disabled or blind individuals who are 65 or older and have limited income or financial resources. Children may also be able to qualify for SSI benefits, depending on the nature of their disability.

Eligibility for SSI in Indiana

To be considered to receive SSI funds, you must fall within certain eligibility guidelines. Not everyone will qualify to receive these government benefits. In Indiana, you must meet the following guidelines in order to apply:

  • Aged 65 or older
  • If under age 65, you must either be blind or disabled:
    • Blind – Either totally blind or have extremely limited eyesight
    • Disabled – A disability means that you have been diagnosed with a mental or physical problem that prevents you from working and is expected to last at least one year or end in death.
  • Have a child with a disability
  • All applicants must be U.S. citizens

Due to the fact that SSI benefits are need-based benefits, you must also prove that you have a limited income or a lack of financial resources. Your income includes any money that you receive each month in the form of wages, Social Security benefits, pensions, workers’ compensation, or money from stocks. It can also include items that you may receive in the form of food, clothing, and shelter. In general, savings and assets cannot exceed $2,000 in you are single, $3,000 if you are married. If you have questions about income guidelines, a seasoned attorney can help you review your income and assets in order to determine your eligibility.

What Happens When Benefits Are Denied?

As we’ve mentioned, an astounding number of SSI benefit claims are denied. Even the smallest error can result in an application being tossed aside. The process can be both confusing and frustrating, and this can result in people giving up on their claim after being rejected. Before you give up entirely, it is important to understand that you do still have options. Individuals can appeal a denied claim and receive a second review of their claim. At this time, you are allowed to add additional information to your application.

Another denial does not necessarily mean the end of the line for your claim, either. You may be able to request a hearing, which will take place before an administrative law judge. You will be able to further bolster your case by presenting witnesses during this period.

If you are denied again, you may request an appeals council review. This is a process where the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council will review your case. They can either issue a decision on your claim or elect to send it back to an administrative law judge.

As you can see, the process becomes significantly more intricate and challenging. However, at any point in this process, you can consult with an experienced SSI benefits attorney to increase your chances of success. At Hankey Marks & Crider, we strive to help clients no matter which part of the process they are in. We can help individuals start the initial process of filing a first-time claim for SSI benefits, and we can jump in if you’ve already applied and been denied. No matter where you fall in the process, we want to help you navigate it successfully and get the benefits you deserve.

Should I Hire an Attorney to Get the SSI Benefits I Need?

Yes. An experienced attorney has the knowledge and the resources to help you maneuver through the complex process of dealing with government red tape. At Hankey Marks & Crider, we want to help you move through the system quickly and efficiently, so you are able to begin collecting the money you deserve. We understand that you are in a vulnerable position, both emotionally and financially. The expense of hiring an attorney may make it seem out of reach, but can you afford not to get all the benefits that you are entitled to?

Reach out to the Social Security Disability legal team at Hankey Marks & Crider to discuss your legal and financial options. We want to help you make the most of your benefits. Contact our office at (317) 634-8565 for more information on how we can help you apply for SSI benefits.