The coronavirus has affected people worldwide, and this widespread virus has caused the rates of unemployment in the United States to skyrocket. Due to this, the U.S. government passed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act in 2020 and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. These are both meant to provide direct economic assistance for Americans who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are some limitations on who will receive stimulus money based on income level. So what do you need to know about SSDI, SSI, and stimulus checks? 

Who Is Eligible For The COVID-19 Stimulus Check?

The 2nd stimulus check was provided in the amounts of $600 per individual, $1,200 per couple, and $600 for children. Individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) that falls at or below $75,000, $112,500 for heads of household, or couples who earn below $150,000 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 relief funds. Those who earn above these amounts may still receive a stimulus check, but the amounts will be reduced. 

Will SSDI or SSI Affect My Stimulus Check?

Many people are wondering, “Am I eligible for the COVID-19 stimulus check if I also receive SSDI or SSI benefits?” If you participate in the SSDI or SSI programs, the IRS claims you should automatically be eligible to receive the stimulus money. If you received money on the first or second round of payments, you should qualify for future stimulus payments. However, if you were claimed as a dependant on someone else’s tax return, that could affect your eligibility. 

Will COVID-19 Stimulus Money Affect My Disability Benefits Eligibility?

The COVID-19 stimulus check will not count as income for SSI eligibility purposes, and there is no need to report it to the Social Security Administration as income. The money is also not taxable, so it also does not count as a resource as long as you spend the full amount within 12 months of receiving it. For those receiving SSDI benefits, the stimulus check should not affect eligibility. 

What If My Income Is Lower Than When I Filed My Last Tax Return?

If you had decreased income in 2020 due to the loss of a job and/or starting disability benefits, there is a chance you may not receive the next stimulus check. However, if you filed a 2019 tax return that is above the $75,000 or $150,000 threshold, but you are under that threshold upon filing your 2020 taxes, you could get your stimulus payment in the form of a rebate with a later tax return. This is referred to as a Recovery Rebate Credit

Beware of Stimulus Check Scams

Please be aware that the IRS will not contact you for personal financial information. Many scams surround the COVID-19 relief money and people have received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Treasury Department or the IRS. The IRS will securely mail you a letter to your last known address approximately 15 days after your money was deposited into your account or mailed as a paper check. This letter will inform you of how the payment was made, and if you did not receive your payment, you can request a replacement check from the IRS. You can also check the status of your payment through the IRS website

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one needs legal advice about SSI, SSDI, and stimulus checks for COVID-19 relief, please reach out to the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill today. Our team of experienced attorneys is available to help you get the money you deserve.

We live in a world where many of us like to take care of things ourselves and feel like we don’t want to bother anyone by asking for help. It is an admirable trait to be self-sufficient; however, it may be in your best interest to ask for help from an experienced disability attorney and learn about the risks of applying SSI on your own. 

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, is considered a federal “needs-based program.” This means that it is available for those who have a financial need, have a disability that prevents gainful activity, or are blind. There are financial parameters that must be met to be eligible for SSI benefits. You may qualify for SSI if you own less than $2,000 in total countable assets as an individual or $3,000 as a married couple living together. You can apply for SSI on your own, but we recommend that you seek the assistance of experienced SSI lawyers

Applying for SSI On Your Own

For many, applying for SSI can be overwhelming, the process can be tedious, and mistakes are commonly made. One of the reasons it is challenging to apply for SSI on your own is due to all of the information necessary to be approved. If there is information missing or incorrect, you may be denied. Information required to apply for SSI may include:

  • Proof of your age and your Social Security number
  • Names and dosages of all medications you take
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of clinics, hospitals, doctors, and caseworkers that have taken care of you, including the dates of your visits
  • Laboratory and test results
  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, clinics, hospitals, and caseworkers
  • A summary of your work history and the type of work you performed
  • The most recent W-2 form or a copy of your federal tax return if you were self-employed
  • Proof of marriage and dates or prior marriages

It can feel daunting to undergo this process on your own. There is so much information to provide to the Social Security Administration, and you want to be confident you are presenting it accurately. 

Dos and Don’ts When Applying for SSI

Dos

  • Do your best to gather as much documentation as possible to prove your medical conditions meet the SSA criteria for eligibility. 
  • Do request additional documentation when possible to strengthen your case, such as a statement from your healthcare provider. 
  • Do ask for assistance from an experienced disability attorney.

Don’ts

  • Don’t forget to consider child support as income unless it is directed to a Supplemental Needs Trust.
  • Don’t provide only dated medical records. Showing the history of your medical condition is good, however, the strength of your case is diminished if there are no current records.
  • Don’t rely solely on the Social Security Administration to secure the necessary information needed for your determination. 

Let The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill Help

Whether you are applying for the first time or need to appeal a denial, the disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can help. Applying for SSI on your own might seem straightforward at first, but you will quickly discover a lot goes into the process. it is important to understand the risks of applying for SSI on your own and the common mistakes or missing information on the application that can result in a denial or reduced payments. The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill have filed hundreds of applications. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

As a parent, when your child is sick, you want to do everything you can to help them. When a child faces a chronic or life-threatening illness, it can be challenging and impact your family’s income. Medical bills, time away from work, and additional childcare needs can add up quickly. You shouldn’t have to face these hardships alone. There are benefits available for children with disabilities, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can help families in this situation get the financial assistance they need. 

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs-based program provided by the Social Security Administration that is funded through general taxes. It exists to help low-income families or individuals who have a disability or are blind and also have limited income or resources. SSI is different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and no previous work history is required for SSI eligibility. For those that do qualify, monthly payments are sent to help with caring for the disabled child.  

Does My Child Qualify for SSI?

For your child to qualify for SSI benefits, specific requirements must be met. Under the Social Security Administration guidelines, a child is considered to be:

  • A person who is unmarried
  • A person who is not the head of household
  • A person who is under the age of 18, or
  • A person who is under the age of 22 and is a student who regularly attends school

For the child to qualify for SSI benefits, they must be either disabled or blind. 

Criteria for a child’s disability include:

  • The child has a medically determined mental or physical impairment(s) that results in severely limited functioning
  • The impairment(s) has already lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or is expected to result in death

Criteria for a child’s blindness include:

  • The child must have a visual impairment with visual acuity for distance of 20/200 or less in their better eye with use of a correcting lens 

OR

  • The child must have a visual field limitation in their better eye where the widest diameter of the visual field has an angle no greater than 20 degrees

What Conditions Qualify My Child for SSI?

There are many illnesses that qualify as life-threatening or a disability and would allow your child to qualify for SSI. To see the full list, you can visit the SSA website, but some of the most common childhood illnesses include:

  • Heart Transplants
  • Childhood Cancers
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy 

Applying for SSI for A Child

Applying for SSI for a child requires an Application for Supplemental Security Income as well as a Child Disability Report. A Child Disability Report helps collect necessary information about the child’s condition and the ways in which it affects his or her ability to function. Other information and documents you may need to provide include but are not limited to:

  • The child’s birth certificate or other proof or birth or adoption certificate
  • Proof that the child is a U.S. citizen
  • Proof of the worker’s marriage to the child’s natural or adoptive parent if the child is the worker’s stepchild
  • W-2 form or self-employment tax return if the child had earnings
  • Proof of the worker’s death if they are deceased and U.S. military discharge papers

There may also be a number of documents pertaining to the parents of the child, such as:

  • Parent’s birth certificate
  • Proof of marriage 
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status

Get Help With an SSI Appeal for A Child

The process of appealing an SSI denial for your child can feel intimidating and time-consuming. We understand that if your child has a disability or life-threatening illness, you may not have the time or energy to research and appeal for SSI benefits. The SSI lawers at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill in Columbia, MO have experience with Child SSI claims if your child needs help with an appeal. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss Supplemental Security Income for children. 

If you have a limited work history, resources, or income, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could be a helpful means of financial support. SSI is considered a federal “needs-based program,” meaning it is available for those who demonstrate a financial need, have a disability that prevents gainful activity, or is blind. SSI is funded by general taxes rather than from the Social Security trust fund. The standard federal SSI payment is a set amount that changes yearly based on the Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA). Most people who receive SSI will also immediately qualify for Medicaid benefits. 

Who is Eligible for SSI?

The requirements for SSI are different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Unlike SSDI, no previous work history is required for eligibility. However, there are financial parameters that must be met. You may be able to receive SSI benefits if you own less than $2,000 worth of total countable assets as an individual or $3,000 as a married couple living together. Countable assets include most anything of value in which you own except for your home and one vehicle. You may qualify for SSI benefits if you meet the financial requirements and if: 

 

To qualify for SSI, you must also be a resident of the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands. Non-citizens who lawfully reside in the U.S may also be eligible for SSI. 

 

What Medical Conditions Qualify for SSI?

Someone who is blind may qualify for SSI. According to the Social Security Administration, they define blindness as:

  • A vision acuity for distance of 20/200 or less in your better eye with correction such as glasses or contact lenses.
  • The visual field limitation in your better eye subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

As of 2020, the list of medical conditions that qualify for SSI have been updated and include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Musculoskeletal problems such as a back injury
  • Kidney disease and genitourinary problems
  • Cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
  • Digestive tract problems such as IBD or liver disease
  • Senses and speech issues such as vision and hearing loss
  • Skin disorders such as dermatitis
  • Respiratory illnesses such as COPD or asthma
  • Immune system disorders such as HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Neurological disorders such as MS, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy
  • Mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, or autism
  • Various syndromes such as Marfan Syndrome and Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Hematological disorders such as disorders of bone marrow 

A more in-depth list for adults and children is available on the Social Security website.

Do I Need to Work to Qualify for SSI?

Some people may get confused about the difference between SSI and SSDI. There are work requirements necessary to qualify for SSDI, however, SSI recipients can be children or individuals who have never worked. Though, if you have worked during the last ten years, you could qualify for both SSI and SSDI and should get advice about what claim type to file. 

Can I Qualify for SSI Before Retirement?

Children and adults under the age of 65 may be eligible for SSI if they have a physical or mental disability. 

You may be considered disabled if:

  • Your medical condition keeps you from working
  • Your medical condition is expected to last 12+ months or result in death.   

Your child may be considered disabled if: 

  • Your child’s medical condition results in severe functional limitations
  • Your child’s medical condition is expected to last 12+ months or result in death. 

There are other non-medical rules that determine SSI eligibility. The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill offers free consultations for SSI claims. 

Speak with a Disability Attorney

If you have a limited income and a disability, you may be entitled to financial assistance through Supplemental Security Income benefits. Let the Social Security Disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill help with your claim for disability benefits by contacting us today

If you need SSI or SSDI during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Law Office of Karen Kraus Bill can still assist you! 

Get a Free Consultation

At the Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill, we are offering free consultations by phone to help you get relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Just because you aren’t able to leave your house, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to take care of important things like getting your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. In a time where the economy is feeling unstable, and the world around us is in a state of uncertainty, we are prepared to help you get the income you need. 

Want to Learn More About Social Security Benefits?

If you are considering applying for SSDI or SSI, but not sure if you are eligible or where to start, keep reading for more information.

Can I Apply for SSDI?

If you are under the age of 65 and have earned a particular number of work credits, you may qualify as a candidate for Social Security Disability Income. You may be eligible for SSDI if you:

  • Are under the age of 65
  • Worked 5 out of the last 10 years
  • Have a mental or physical impairment

Federal law defines disabled as someone unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

Can I Apply for SSI?

Supplemental Security Income may be one of the most applicable social security benefits during the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19. You could qualify if you:

  • Have a limited income 
  • Have less than $2,000 in assets as an individual OR
  • Have less than $3,000 in assets as a couple

Individuals of any age, children included, can apply for SSI if they are disabled and have limited to no income or resources. Individuals over the age of 65 can qualify, regardless of their medical condition. 

Need to Appeal an SSI or SSDI Denial?

If you have already applied for SSI or SSDI yourself and have been denied, The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill can assist you during the appeals process. There is only a short time frame available to appeal, so as soon as you know you have been denied, contact us for a free phone consultation. Applications can often be denied due to mistakes, misinformation, or unsuccessful attempts to collect necessary medical information when an individual attempts to apply on their own. Having a skilled attorney who is experienced in handling disability law cases can mean the difference between being approved and denied.

Call Karen Kraus Bill Today

If you are ready to schedule a virtual consultation, visit our website to fill out the contact form or call us at 573-875-5200.

You’ve worked hard all your life, but now you’re unable to continue working due to your declining health, or maybe you’ve reached an age where you simply can’t anymore. You might be wondering if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Which type of claim is right for you? Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are disability benefit programs run by the Social Security Administration. The differences between these two programs can be confusing, so let’s discuss the major distinctions.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is considered an “entitlement program” that is generally available to anyone who has paid into the Social Security system for the last ten years. These recipients are considered “insured” because they have made their contribution to the Social Security trust fund through paying FICA Social Security taxes. SSDI provides benefits to people who cannot work enough due to certain medical conditions or disabilities. The amount of SSDI payments vary based on the beneficiary’s earnings record. SSDI recipients are eligible for medicare.

Who Can Apply for SSDI?

To be a candidate for SSDI, a person must have earned a particular number of work credits and be under the age of 65. Generally, an eligible individual would need to have worked at least five out of the last ten years. Federal law has strict definitions of disability, stating that the medical condition causing the disability be one that is expected to last one year or more, or potentially result in death. People with short-term or partial disabilities would not qualify. 

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is considered a “needs-based program,” meaning it is strictly for low-income American citizens and is funded by general taxes rather than from the Social Security trust fund. The standard federal SSI payment is a set amount that changes yearly based on the Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA). Additionally, most people who receive SSI will immediately qualify for benefits through Medicaid. 

Who Can Apply for SSI?

To meet the requirements for SSI, a person must have a very limited income and less than $2,000 in assets, or less than $3,000 for a couple. Most people who would qualify for SSI would also qualify for food stamps. Individuals over the age of 65 can qualify for SSI (regardless of their medical condition) if the income requirements are met. A person of any age, even children, can apply for SSI if they are disabled and have limited to no resources or income. 

Get Help Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

It can be risky to apply for SSDI or SSI on your own. Many applications are initially denied due to mistakes or misinformation, unsuccessful attempts to collect medical evidence, and/or a failure to cooperate with the Social Security Administration. If your disability benefits application has been denied, we can help. There is a small window of time to appeal your denial, and statistics show you are more likely to get approved with the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with disability law.

Call Karen Kraus Bill

The Law Offices of Karen Kraus Bill has extensive experience handling disability law cases for SSDI or SSI. It is beneficial to have a skilled attorney on your side to help you get all of the necessary records in order to create the strongest application possible. We can also represent you during the appeals process if you were previously denied. We are ready to focus on winning your disability case so you can continue to take care of your health. Contact us today!