Are you disabled or aged with very little income and unable to work? You may qualify for Supplemental Security Income, a federal program that provides cash assistance to cover basic needs.
Oklahoma City Supplemental Security Income Attorney
Our dedicated disability lawyers are committed to offering personalized service and helping each client understand all the benefits available. Senior Partner Philip D. Ryan has advocated for clients at more than 3,000 disability hearings and has written: “Seven Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Disability Claim (and How to Avoid Them)”.
He has an active role in every disability claim that the law firm handles. If you have become disabled and cannot work for a living in Oklahoma, let us review your situation and discuss whether you may qualify for supplemental security income benefits.
To discuss your disability claim, call today to learn how an Oklahoma City SSI lawyer can assist you.
How Does Supplemental Security Income Work?
Supplemental Security Income is one of two disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration. The two disability programs have different eligibility requirements. SSI benefits are available to disabled adults and children in Oklahoma who have very little income and few assets. SSI also is available to people 65 and older who meet the financial limits.
What Does the Federal SSI Program Do for People Who Qualify?
The federal SSI program pays monthly cash benefits to qualifying individuals to pay for basic needs such as food, clothes, and shelter. The standard federal SSI payment is $771 per month for an individual and $1,157 for a couple in 2019. This amount may be adjusted each year for inflation.
How to Qualify for SSI in Oklahoma City
Qualifying for SSI requires a determination of a medically diagnosed physical or mental disability that prevents you from working. There is no charge to apply for SSI benefits. Approximately 96,000 people in Oklahoma received SSI benefits in 2018, according to the Social Security Administration. Most of the recipients were between the ages of 18 and 64.
Can Adults & Children Qualify for SSI?
SSI benefits are available for both adults and children who qualify. Our SSI attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have been helping disabled Oklahomans seek disability benefits for more than three decades.
What If I Just Became Blind or Disabled?
If you are disabled or blind and have a limited work history, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. If you have a substantial work history, you may be eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, which is available to people who have a record of working and paying taxes into the Social Security system. The amount you receive from SSI or SSDI depends on your income and living arrangements.
You may apply for SSI in Oklahoma City. An application for SSI or SSDI can be filed at the local Social Security Administration office, by phone or online.
How Long Does It Take to Process SSI Benefits in Oklahoma City?
It is understandable that when you apply for SSI, you want to start receiving SSI benefits as soon as possible.
You may receive an initial decision about your SSI application within 60 to 90 days. If you qualify for SSI, you generally will start receiving benefits in the first full month after your application is approved. It generally takes two to three months for the Social Security payment processing center. You will be paid from the date of your application and will receive a check for a lump sum amount covering the back benefits owed to you.
If you have to pursue an appeal, the process may take a year or longer to schedule and conduct a hearing before an administrative law judge and receive a written decision from the judge.
It is important to work with an Oklahoma City SSI lawyer who has the resources and determination to pursue your case to a conclusion.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for SSI?
You may handle your own SSI case, but you have a right to have a lawyer represent you.
The SSI application and appeals process are complicated and require the submission of numerous documents. A knowledgeable Oklahoma City SSI lawyer can help you gather the required information and avoid common missteps that lead to delays in the processing of your application.
If you decide to initially apply for benefits on your own, avoid the common mistakes in filing for social security by educating yourself beforehand.
Many applicants for SSI benefits receive denial letters initially. If you disagree with the decision, then you have a right to appeal the initial determination. You will need to file an appeal within 60 days of the date of receiving the initial determination notice. You can appeal a denial of eligibility for SSI benefits and challenge decisions about the amount of the SSI payment that you are eligible to receive.
What is the SSI Appeal Process in Oklahoma?
A knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer can guide you through the bureaucratic, multi-level SSI appeals process and make the process go more smoothly. If your application was rejected because of a lack of adequate medical information to support your disability, we can arrange for another medical evaluation to supplement your medical file.
The Levels of SSI Appeal Include:
- Reconsideration—If you disagree with the initial decision, you may appeal by filling out a Request for Reconsideration Form SSA 561 or a Form SSA-789. You must submit the appeal in writing within 60 days of the date that you receive the letter regarding the initial determination. If you are appealing a decision to stop your benefits and you wish to keep receiving benefits until the appeal is resolved, you will need to submit a written request to continue benefits within 10 days after you receive the written notice. You are entitled to a face-to-face meeting with a claims officer. Most people who request reconsideration receive a denial notice and have to take the next appeals step and ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge to appeal the decision.
- Hearing Before Administrative Law Judge—If you disagree with the result of the reconsideration process, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Judges in the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Oklahoma City hold hearings on cases involving SSI appeals. An SSI appeal hearing is a legal proceeding, and you should be represented by an experienced lawyer who understands the appeals process and rules that apply in these types of hearings.
To request a hearing, you will need to complete Form HA-501 and request a hearing within 60 days of the date of receipt of the reconsideration decision. An experienced SSI appeals attorney can help you access and review your case file before the hearing and submit additional information and evidence to strengthen your claim. If you have received a benefits cancellation notice, you may continue to receive SSI benefits if you are appealing the decision that your disability has ended. But you must ask in writing that your benefits be continued within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice. An experienced lawyer can help you meet these filing deadlines.
An attorney can prepare you for the types of questions the judge may ask you during the hearing. An attorney also can schedule medical experts to testify about your disability. You will be notified of the hearing date at least 75 days beforehand. The hearings are typically held in person but may be held by video teleconference in certain circumstances.
- Appeals Council Review—If the judge rules against you after the hearing, you then can ask the Appeals Council to review the decision and determine whether the judge made an error of law in deciding your case. You have 60 days to seek review by the Appeals Council after receiving the decision of the administrative law judge.
- Federal Court—After you exhaust your appeals through the Social Security system, you then may file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City to pursue disability benefits. If you live in Oklahoma City, the disability appeals lawsuit would be brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The federal court will review whether the administrative law judge made a mistake in denying your claim for SSI benefits.
As you can see, the appeals process can be complex. An Oklahoma City SSI attorney at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons can help you make the strongest case for SSI disability benefits throughout the appeals process.
Contact Oklahoma City Supplemental Security Income Attorneys
Whatever disability you have, you deserve clear, reliable information about the types of disability benefits available to you in Oklahoma. If the claims process in unfamiliar to you, it can be confusing. You may have difficulty gathering all the necessary documents and medical records to support your disability claim and to meet the filing deadlines.
You need the guidance and help of a knowledgeable Oklahoma City SSI attorney. Our attorneys can file an appeal if you have been denied SSI benefits. Our knowledgeable disability attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons help Oklahomans applying for SSI benefits across the Oklahoma City area. Contact our law firm to arrange your free initial consultation about your claim.Get Started