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Law Office of
Constance R. Somers

8 Sorrell Place Dr
San Antonio, TX 78248
Phone: (210) 271-7807
Fax: (210) 271-9558

Office in San Antonio, Texas
Hours: 9:00-4:00

Supplemental Security Income

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

This program provides a need-based benefit to elderly, blind, or disabled persons who have little or no income and limited resources Often, applications are denied at the initial level because they are filed incorrectly or are not sufficiently supported with financial documentation. Problems commonly arise concerning the value of resources owned by the claimant and/or his family, or when a claimant is living with a significant other who has excess income or resources, or when a claimant is receiving significant financial help from someone else.

How does the SSI application process differ from that for SSDI?
It is even more complex than the process for obtaining SSDI benefits. It follows the same steps and has the same medical requirements as SSDI, but the claimant must also prove that he meets the poverty requirements.

How much will I receive for benefits?
The program provides a basic benefit amount which goes up a little bit each year. The amount of the benefit depends on the beneficiary's income and whether the person lives alone, with others, in the household of another, or in a residential care facility. In 2009, the maximum SSI benefit is $674/month.

Will my prior earnings be taken into account?
No. Unlike SSDI benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits are not based on any prior work. They are based on need rather than the amount which a wage-earner may have paid into the Social Security system. Many SSI recipients have never worked.

Can my family members or survivors collect benefits?
No. With SSI, benefits are paid to the eligible person only, not to his family members. If the claimant dies before SSA has paid him SSI benefits which were due to him, that past-due amount can be paid to his surviving spouse if they were living together, but not to any other family member.

Can children get SSI benefits?
Yes, Disabled children who have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment may collect benefits, but only if their families meet the test for income and resources, Even if the family's money disqualifies a child, however, the child may qualify in spite of his family's finances once he reaches age 18.

Does SSI carry with it any medical benefits?
Yes, with SSI you get Medicaid, often retroactive to three months before your application date.

Is a mental illness considered a disability?
Yes, mental illnesses and mental retardation may be a basis for a finding of disability.

The Law Office of Constance R. Somers is located in San Antonio, Texas and serves clients in south central Texas, including Wilson County, Medina County, Guadalupe County, Comal County, Kerr County, Gillespie County, Kendall County, Atascosa County, and Bexar County, as well as the cities of San Antonio, Boerne, Seguin, New Braunfels, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Hondo, Floresville, Pleasanton, and Jourdanton.