Module #1

Understanding the Basics of SSI and Appeals

This module focuses on helping you to understand the basics of the SSI program, how it works and is administered, how disability is determined, and processes to appeal SSI program decisions.

Resources

The SSI Application and Appeals Process

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSA Publication No. 5-11000 (Aug. 2017, 11 pages), explaining SSI basics, how to apply, and how to appeal:  https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11000.pdf

  • Your Right to Question a Decision Made on Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim, Publication No. 05-11008 (Jan. 2017, 9 pages), explains all levels of appeal through Federal District Court, https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11008.pdf.  

Social Security’s Listing of Impairments

Finding a representative to assist with an SSI appeal

  • Reach out to your Legal Services or Legal Aid program for your state or region of the state.  See federal Legal Services Corporation website and its “Our Grantees” page, https://www.lsc.gov/grants-grantee-resources/our-grantees, for a link to the grant-funded program in your state or region of the state.  

  • Reach out to your Protection and Advocacy Program for your state (many have the “Disability Rights” in their program name).  See National Disability Rights Network website, www.ndrn.org (see the U.S. map on their home page, under the description, “Find Help in Your State”). 

  • Reach out to private attorneys in your area who may, for a fee paid through back benefits, agree to handle an SSI appeal.  A search for the bar association in your county or region of the state may be the best way to find private attorneys who handle these appeals.

Establishing disability

  • Part of two-part SSI eligibility test. 

  • Adults must establish they cannot work at substantial level. 

  •  Children under 18 must establish severe deficits in functional activities at school and at home.