There have been multiple studies that have found that many people in Virginia and across the country who are eligible to receive Social Security Insurance (SSI) are not receiving the benefit. Many estimates put the number of senior citizens who are eligible in the millions, the majority of them single women, who are also living in poverty. If you think you may qualify for SSI or are unsure if you do, a social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA can evaluate your case and provide legal advice on what your options may be.
How does the SSI program work?
Although SSI is a program that is overseen by the Social Security Administration, it is not funded by Social Security tax revenues. The program was created in 1972 to benefit people who are elderly, blind, or disabled and have little to no income. The purpose of the disability program is to help provide those who qualify the ability to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. Per data released by the agency, at the end of 2021, there were more than two million seniors who were receiving SSI benefits.
Why are so many seniors who could qualify for SSI not receiving the benefit?
More than half of seniors who qualify for the benefit do not take advantage of it. According to researchers who study financial issues and the elderly, there could be several reasons for this. One reason may be that many seniors and their families are unaware of the program. A Roanoke VA social security disability lawyer understands there could also be the issue of pride – many senior citizens do not want to feel as if they can no longer support themselves and have to rely on government assistance.
What are the qualifications for the program?
There are stringent eligibility requirements for the program, including age, disability, and either a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen. The amount of benefit is determined by how much a person’s income is. Sources of income include wages earned from a job or self-employment, as well as any financial or non-financial help a person receives from family or other sources. Exceptions to financial assistance include occasional monetary gifts from family members, food stamps, or charitable agency help.
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Other factors can also affect eligibility, including assets; however, a qualified Roanoke VA social security disability lawyer can assist with the application process. In some cases, a person may qualify for SSDI instead of SSI. Your attorney can evaluate your situation and determine which program is the right one for you, as well as assist in the application process. If you have been denied benefits, a lawyer from our firm can also determine if you have grounds for appeal. Call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to schedule a free and confidential consultation.