Law Los Angeles

SSI

Paniotto Law Firm is one the few law offices dealing the issues of Disability and SSI benefits and represents SSI beneficiaries throughout the appeal process.  If your SSI was denied because the Social Security office felt that your disability is insufficient to grant SSI or because you had too much income too qualify, we will be happy to help you to get your SSI back, prepare your appeal and represent you before the Social Security administrative judge at the social security office hearing.   Below you may find useful information about SSI benefits

 

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITES?
Effective January 1, 2007, the Federal benefit rate is $623 for an individual and $934 for SSI
However, in California, among other states, if you qualify for SSI, you will also qualify for an optional state supplemental benefit. For example in California as of 2006
If you are Living independently with cooking facilities the benefits are as follows:
However, in California, among other states, if you qualify for SSI, you will also qualify for an optional state supplemental benefit. For example in California as of 2006
If you are Living independently with cooking facilities the benefits are as follows:

Combined State and Federal    State supplementation

Individual                 Couple               Individual              Couple

Aged and disabled                812.00                   1,437.00                209.00                  533.00

Blind                                    877.00 a                1,664.00                274.00                  760.00

CITIZEN / NON-CITIZEN STATUS

To get SSI benefits, you must be:
a citizen or national of the United States; or a non-citizen who meets the immigrant eligibility
criteria under the 1996 legislation and its amendments.


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When May A Non-Citizen Be Eligible For SSI Benefits?

Beginning August 22, 1996, most non-citizens must meet two requirements to be eligible for SSI benefits:
The non-citizen must be in a qualified immigrant category, and meet a condition that allows qualified immigrants to get SSI benefits.
A non-citizen must also meet all of the other requirements for SSI eligibility, including the limits on income, resources, etc.



Who is a "Qualified immigrant?"

There are eight categories of non-citizens who are qualified immigrants. You are a qualified immigrant if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says you are in one of these categories:

Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence (LAPR) in the United States, including "Amerasian immigrant" as defined in Section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988, as amended;
granted conditional entry under Section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980;
paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year;
refugee admitted to the United States under Section 207 of the INA;
granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;
deportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) of the INA as in effect before April 1, 1997, or removal is withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;
"Cuban and Haitian entrant" under Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a "Cuban and Haitian entrant" for SSI purposes; or
under certain circumstances, you, your child, or your parent has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty while in the United States.
DHS does not determine this status. 




Under What Conditions May a "Qualified immigrant" be Eligible for SSI Benefits?

If you are in one of the eight qualified immigrant categories listed above, you may be eligible for SSI benefits if you have limited income and resources and are aged, blind, or disabled and also meet one of the following conditions:

1.  You were receiving SSI benefits and lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996.

2.  You are LAPR with 40 qualifying quarters of work.



Work done by your spouse or parent may also count toward the 40 quarters of work, but only for getting SSI benefits.



We cannot count quarters of work earned after December 31, 1996 if you, your spouse, or your parent worked or received certain benefits from the U.S. government based on limited income and resources during that period.


IMPORTANT: If you entered the United States for the first time on or after August 22, 1996, then you may not be eligible for SSI benefits for the first five years as LAPR, even if you have 40 qualifying quarters of work.


3.   You are currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or you are an honorably discharged veteran and your discharge is not because you are an immigrant. This condition may also apply if you are the spouse, widow(er), or dependent child of certain U.S. military personnel.


4.   You were lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996, and you are blind or disabled.


5.   You may receive SSI benefits for a maximum of seven years from the date DHS granted you a status in one of the following categories, and the status was granted within seven years of filing for SSI benefits:





refugee under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationalisty Act (INA);



asylee under Section 208 of the INA;



immigrant whose deportation was withheld under
Section 243(h) of the INA or whose removal is withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;



"Cuban and Haitian entrant" under Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a "Cuban and Haitian entrant" for SSI purposes; or
"Amerasian immigrant" under Section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988, as amended.


IMPORTANT: You may be eligible for SSI beyond the seven year period if you are in one of these categories, and you also meet one of the other conditions (1-4) above.


You may be eligible for SSI benefits under certain circumstances if the Department of Health and Human Services determines that you meet the requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.


WHO  IS  ELIGIBLE  FOR  SSI  BENEFITS?


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Effective January 1, 2007, the Federal benefit rate is $623 for an individual and $934 for a couple

Living independently with cooking facilities

Individual              Couple                   Individual             Couple

A

Aged and disabled              812.00                   1,437.00                209.00                   533.0

Blind                                   877.00 a                1,664.00                274.00                  760.00

Anyone who is:

aged (age 65 or older);

blind; or

disabled.


And, who:


has limited income; and

has limited resources; and


is a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of immigrants; and In general, an immigrant who is subject to an active warrant for deportation or removal does not meet the citizenship/immigrant requirement.



is a resident of one of the 50 States, including the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands; and is not absent from the country for a full calendar month or more than 30 consecutive days; and agrees to apply for any other cash benefits for whom he or she may be entitled; and meets certain other requirements.




WHAT DOES "AGED" MEAN?

"Aged" means age 65 or older.


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WHAT IS "BLINDNESS" FOR AN ADULT OR CHILD?

"Blindness" in Social Security disability programs is "statutory blindness," which means:


you have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye, even while you are wearing glasses or a correcting contact lens or glasses in that eye; or



you have a limitation in the field of vision of your better eye, so that


(a)  you have a contraction of peripheral visual fields to 10 degrees from the point of fixation, or
(b)  the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.


If you have a visual impairment that is not "blindness" as defined above you may still be eligible for SSI benefits on the basis of disability. See the definitions of disability for children and adults below.



WHAT DOES "DISABLED" MEAN FOR A CHILD?


An individual under age 18 is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:


results in marked and severe functional limitations; and

can be expected to result in death; or

has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.


If the individual is age 18 or older, the adult definition of disability explained below applies.


See SSI FOR CHILDREN and IF YOU ARE DISABLED OR BLIND for more information on the childhood disability evaluation.



WHAT DOES "DISABLED" MEAN FOR AN ADULT?

An individual age 18 and older is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which:


results in the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity; and

can be expected to result in death; or

has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.



WHAT DOES "LIMITED INCOME" INCLUDE?


Income includes:


money you earn from work;

money you receive from other sources, such as Social Security, workers compensation, unemployment benefits, Department of Veterans' Affairs, friends or relatives; and

free food or shelter.


We do not count all kinds of income for SSI, but most income that we do count reduces your SSI benefit amount. For more information, see SSI INCOME.



WHAT ARE "LIMITED RESOURCES"?

Resources are things you own such as:

cash;


bank account(s), stocks, U.S. savings bonds;


land;


vehicles;


personal property;


life insurance; and anything else you own that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter.


We do not count all kinds of resources for SSI. For more information, see SSI RESOURCES.



The SSI limits for resources that we do count are:

Individual -  $2,000

Couple     -   $3,000
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