If you have a limited work history and are suffering from a mental or physical disability, you may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Unfortunately, seeking these benefits can be easier said than done. The application process is complicated and can be a burden on disabled individuals and their families.
For this reason, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced California Supplemental Security Income lawyer who knows how to navigate the system. At The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour, we help disabled individuals across the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County with their SSI applications and/or appeals. Working with our team can take the stress of obtaining disability benefits off your shoulders. All you have to do is call us!
We strive to make this difficult process as easy as possible. You don’t even have to leave your house. We’ll come to you!
If you’re living with a severe disability that prevents you from working and doing everyday activities, you may be entitled to SSI benefits. Let our team help you get the financial support you deserve.
When you call our office, you’ll get a partner in seeking SSI benefits. The best part is that our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, so there are no upfront fees and you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case!
Attempting to navigate the Social Security system to get the disability benefits you need to pay for everyday essentials can be incredibly challenging. On top of being a long process, keeping up with the endless amount of paperwork and appointments can be tiresome and frustrating, especially when your condition makes it difficult for you to do certain activities.
Dr. Bill LaTour is not only an experienced California Supplemental Security lawyer, but also a licensed psychologist. He has a deep understanding of the physical and emotional strains that can come with a disability, which will be to your advantage when you need to prove to the SSA exactly how your condition affects your everyday life. Dr. LaTour and his team know what you’re going through and it’s our mission to help you through every step of the way.
You don’t even have to leave your home. Someone from our experienced team can come to you and answer all of your questions!
SSI is a needs-based disability program that provides benefits specifically to low-income individuals with limited access to resources. SSI recipients are commonly adults whose disabilities have prevented them from ever entering the workforce. People who aren’t disabled but are 65 or older and meet certain financial criteria may also obtain SSI benefits. SSI provides a monthly payment to help recipients meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has several requirements that applicants must meet in order to be approved for SSI benefits. You may be eligible if:
You are 65 or older.
You are under 65 but suffer from a qualifying disability that prevents you from working.
You are blind, under the SSA’s standards.
The SSA uses strict criteria when determining whether an impairment counts as a “disability.” If your condition does not meet the following medical requirements, the SSA will likely not consider you to be disabled:
Your condition prevents you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). In other words, you are unable to work in any occupation due to your impairment.
Your condition has lasted or is expected to last at least a year or result in death.
The SSA only considers total disabilities for SSI payments, meaning you must be unable to continue your current job or any previous jobs you have held in the past. Furthermore, you must be unable to work in any other field for which you are qualified.
In addition to the medical criteria, you must also fall under the SSA’s income limitations in order to be approved for SSI benefits.
This is a strict requirement, because SSI is intended to help low-income individuals account for everyday essentials. In order to ensure that these benefits are only going to people who truly need them, the SSA sets an income limit every year.
The following counts towards the income limit:
If your combined income from any of these sources exceeds the set limit, you will likely not be eligible for SSI benefits. However, there are some exceptions. Our SSI lawyers can review your claim and help you understand what income counts and doesn’t count toward the limit.
The SSA also places limits on your resources. In order to receive SSI payments, your combined resources must not exceed a set amount dictated by the SSA each year. These resources include:
Similar to your income, there are certain resources that are exempt from the resource limit. In other words, you may still qualify for benefits even if the worth of your resources is higher than the set limit. Our legal team can determine whether any of your resources should not be counted towards the limit to help you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve.
If you applied for SSI benefits and were denied, don’t lose hope. It’s common for the SSA to deny disability claims, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to receive benefits. In some cases, applicants who are initially denied are able to obtain benefits through the appeals process.
After receiving notice of a denial, you will have the opportunity to file a request asking the SSA to reconsider its decision regarding your SSI application. This stage of the appeals process is known as “reconsideration.” A different claims examiner will evaluate your claim and make a decision. If any forms were missing from your initial application, you may add them to your file before the reconsideration.
If your claim is denied a second time, you may then request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). At this stage, you will appear in front of the judge and present your case. Witnesses, such as doctors who have treated you, may speak at the hearing to support your claim.
While you’re not required to have an attorney present at your hearing, it is extremely beneficial, as a legal professional will present the facts of your claim and give you the best chance of an approval. However, if the ALJ also denies your claim, you may continue to the federal court level.
In disability determinations, the SSA’s claims examiners will use the Blue Book, which lists impairments that the agency automatically considers to be qualifying disabilities. If your condition is not already listed here, the claims examiner will review what’s known as your residual functional capacity (RFC) to determine whether your condition is disabling.
RFC, or residual functional capacity, is an assessment of your capabilities that demonstrates the nature of your condition and how severely it affects your everyday life. With this in mind, your medical records and other documentation from your doctor are vitally important to the success of your claim. A claims examiner will expect to see solid proof of your diagnosis, treatment, and how the condition limits you.
Dr. Bill LaTour and his team assist disabled individuals and their families in Colton, Los Angeles, and cities throughout Southern California with their SSI applications and appeals. From the moment you call us, our experienced California Supplemental Security Income lawyers will work hard for you, making sure you have the proper documents, coordinating with the SSA on your behalf, and keeping you updated throughout the lengthy process of obtaining SSI benefits.