Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides direct cash assistance to qualifying disabled individuals who have little or no income. SSI is a lifeline to people and families who need support. Unfortunately, getting benefits can sometimes prove to be challenging. According to data found in the official SSI Annual Statistical Report, more than half of SSI claims are denied.
If you or your loved one was denied SSI benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. To effectively challenge a denial, you must know exactly why the SSA made its decision. Here, our Arkansas SSI attorneys highlight the reasons why the SSA denies Supplemental Security Income claims and explain what you need to do to initiate the appeals process.
The Three Most Common Reasons Why SSI Claims are Denied
1. Paperwork Mistakes or Missing Documents
One of the most common reasons why SSI claims are denied is because of missing documents, missing records, or errors on the paperwork. As frustrating as this can be, the good news is that an experienced Rogers, AR SSI lawyer can help you take action to correct these problems.
2. Too Much Income to Qualify for SSI Benefits
SSI is a purely needs-based federal disability program. To obtain financial benefits, applicants can only have little or no income. If your income is too high, the SSA will deny your application on technical grounds. If you believe that you were denied for income-related reasons in error, an Arkansas disability attorney can help.
3. Problems With Medical Records/Medical Evidence
SSI benefits are only available to people who have a qualifying disability. A claims examiner from the SSA will take a close look at all medical documents and records. If there are any alleged defects with the medical evidence—lack of sufficient evidence, conflicting information, etc.—then SSI benefits may be denied. A lawyer can help you get your medical records in order to bring an appeal.
You Have the Right to Appeal an SSI Denial
Pursuant to federal regulations, applicants have the right to appeal an SSI denial or a reduction in benefits. For both SSI claims and SSDI claims, there is a four-level review process. The levels of review are as follows:
- Administrative Judge Hearing;
- Appeals Council Review; and
- Federal litigation.
The SSI appeals process starts with a request for reconsideration. Put simply, the SSA will take a second (fresh) look at your SSI claim. Notably, you can submit supplemental supporting evidence at this time. You should submit your appeal in writing within 60 days of the date on the denial letter.
Contact Our SSI Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Gallo Cazort & Co. Law Firm, our Social Security disability lawyers have extensive experience handling SSI claims. If your benefits were denied, we can help you take action to protect your rights. Contact our firmnow for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. With an office in Rogers, we represent clients in SSI appeals in Northwest Arkansas, Northeast Oklahoma, and Southwest Missouri.