The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two primary disability programs. These programs provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. They include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): This program supports disabled individuals who have consistently paid into the Social Security System over their lifetime.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This program supports disabled individuals with restricted income and assets. It also supports those who are blind or over the age of 65.
Unlike with SSDI, you do not have to have worked and paid into the Social Security System to receive SSI benefits.
When filing for SSI disability in South Dakota, it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements. You also need extensive medical and non-medical evidence that supports your claim, as well as various other forms of documentation. To get the best chances of being approved for benefits, it’s important to reach out to a disability attorney.
Criteria for SSI Eligibility
If you’re applying for SSI with a disability, your medical condition must align with the SSA’s definition of disabled. The guidelines are as follows:
- Your disability leaves you unable to perform Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). This includes any forms of work you are currently trained in and any new forms of work.
- Your disability has persisted, or is expected to persist for at least 1 year or result in death.
- Your disability must meet or equal an Impairment Listing in the SSA’s Blue Book.
- Your disability must be medically diagnosable.
If you’re applying for SSI under a blindness claim, then you must meet the SSA’s definition of “blindness.” These guidelines are as follows:
- Your vision can’t be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye.
- Your visual field is 20 degrees or less in your better eye.
Additionally, in order to be eligible for SSI, you must have extremely limited income and resources. This is true whether you’re applying under a disability claim, blindness claim, or you’re 65 years old or older.
It’s also important to note that you will only qualify for SSI if you’re ineligible for SSDI.
When your medical condition interferes with your ability to maintain gainful employment, you should promptly initiate the disability claims process. You’ll need substantial documentation, including medical records, financial information, work history (if applicable), and other personal information.
It’s also crucial to know that there are several application steps that are time-sensitive. Failing to provide the SSA with requested information on time may result in a claim denial. You may also be denied benefits if you don’t supply accurate information or relevant evidence that supports your claim.
Why Hire an Attorney
Most initial disability claims are denied, so it’s important to consider working with a qualified disability lawyer when filing a claim. At Ficek Law, PC, we’re dedicated to our clients. We will stand by you through every step of the application process. We’ll also explain what you can expect in monthly benefits and what evidence is essential to the success of your case.
If you’re ready to apply for disability benefits in South Dakota, contact us now to schedule a free consultation.
Post-Approval & Denial Outcomes
If you’re approved for SSI, the SSA will distribute monthly payments on the first of every month. Your first SSI payment will be paid towards the first full month after you applied or became eligible for benefits.
Periodic reviews will be conducted to confirm ongoing eligibility.
If denied Social Security Disability benefits, you can file an appeal. Typically, when appeals are conducted, SSI applicants only have to go through the first and/or second stages. Although, there are further steps to continue the appeals process up to the federal level.
The first stage of the appeals process is filing a reconsideration request within 60 days of your denial notice.
If you’re denied benefits a second time, you may request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It’s important to have legal counsel at your side for this hearing.
Further denials post-hearing can be contested through the Appeals Council and, if necessary, in Federal Court.
Contact Ficek Law, PC | Your SSI Disability Claim Attorney in South Dakota
Filing for SSI isn’t easy, especially with all the paperwork and special requirements put forth by the SSA. The claims process can be extremely complex, especially without legal counsel. Hiring a qualified disability lawyer in South Dakota before applying for benefits can significantly improve your chances of being approved.
If you’re planning to file for SSI in South Dakota, reach out to Attorney Anton G. Ficek today. With his extensive experience and dedication, you can rely on him to help properly file your claim. He’ll also clearly explain the claims process to you, and gather necessary documentation and essential evidence to build your case.
If you’re struggling and need financial assistance, don’t wait- Schedule a free consultation with Ficek Law, PC today! We will help you apply for South Dakota Social Security Disability benefits so you can get the help you need.