A while back I came across this question: "I know how to file an appeal for social security disability, but how do I file an SSI appeal".
The question this individual asked points to a somewhat common misunderstanding about the disability programs that are mandated by the social security act and operated by the social security administration.
First, I'll just cut to the chase: How do you file an appeal for SSI disability? The same way you file an appeal for social security disability. There is no difference. In fact, when it comes to processing a disability claim with the social security administration, there is no difference whatsoever between SSI and social security disability.
Now, if you're thinking to yourself "Wait, I was told that social security disability and SSI are two separate programs", yes, they are two separate and distinct disability programs. Social security disability (also known as SSD, SSDI, RSDI, DIB, and title II benefits) is for individuals who have worked and earned enough quarters of coverage to be insured for...you guessed it, social security disability benefits. SSI, on the other hand, provides disability benefits to individuals who either 1. never worked and earned enough coverage quarters for SSD, or 2. were once covered for SSD via their earnings, but, whose coverage has lapsed (which can happen if you've not worked in a long time). , The definition of SSI, of course, means that this is also the social security administration's disability program which provides disability benefits for minor children.
Are there other differences between SSI and SSD? Yes, individuals who are approved for SSI will typically, depending on the state in which they reside, receive medicaid benefits while those who are approved for social security disability will receive medicare benefits two years after their date of entitlement. Also, SSI, since it is a needs based program, is subject to asset limitations (you cannot have more than two thousand dollars in countable assets) and the income of a spouse of an SSI applicant / recipient will count to some extent (this is called "deeming") when it comes to determining eligibility.
Obviously, SSI and social security disability are separate and distinct programs. However, none of that makes a difference when you file an appeal. Why? Because when you originally file for disability, you are simply doing that: filing for disability.
From an application standpoint, the distinctions between SSI and SSD are chiefly for the purpose of deciding which category to put your claim in. But, aside from that, the differences are hardly worth noting (i.e. SSI and SSD claims are processed the same way, evaluated the same way, handled the same way---nothing changes).
So, back to the question with which we began: How do you file an SSI appeal? Answer: the same way you file a social security disability appeal. You simply contact the social security office and let them know (assuming you have just received a notice of denial) that you need to file an appeal. At that point, they will send you the appropriate appeal forms which you will complete and return to them. If you have an attorney or non attorney handling your case, by all means have them do your appeal for you. Lastly, you also have the option of filing your SSI appeal online, though your attorney or non attorney representative can do this for you as well.
Additional information on Social Security Disability at www.ssdrc.com
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