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Confused About Social Security Benefits? Get Expert Help

Leavitt Meunier Law LLC May 27, 2023

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

If you’re about to apply for benefits, you might wonder: why should I hire a Supplemental Social Security attorney? In recent years, the Social Security Administration expressed some concern that it might run out of money. This stems from the fact that America has an aging population. 

More seniors withdrawing payments and fewer people paying into the system threatens its longevity. For these and other reasons, the SSA tightened its restrictions, making it difficult to obtain benefits even when you qualify.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

According to the SSA, this program provides monthly payments to qualifying persons who fall into two categories. The first involves either adults or children with qualifying disabilities. Next, seniors over 65, who meet income requirements, may receive benefits. The ability to receive benefits also depends on how long adults paid into the Social Security system.

How Do You Apply for Supplemental Security Income?

How you apply depends on the reasons you qualify for SSI. For example, adults with disabilities may complete the entire process online. In contrast, when filing for children, adults may complete a part of the application online, but the rest needs to be completed by phone. Surprisingly, seniors cannot currently complete the process online at all. Instead, they need to apply at their local offices or call in and do it over the phone. Note that applying via the local office may require an appointment.

When Should You Hire a Social Security Attorney?

The best time to hire an attorney is before you start the application process. While working with a professional does not guarantee success, it reduces the likelihood of making mistakes that could cost you time and money. It is better to take a proactive approach and eliminate these risks before they pose a problem.

Another good time to hire a Social Security attorney is after a denial. The SSA reports that when they deny claims, individuals have the right to appeal. Working with an attorney might improve the chances of success the second time around. Here’s why:

  • Your disability attorney can investigate and determine what might have contributed to the denial.

  • Your disability lawyer might discover additional information to bolster your claim.

  • Your Social Security disability attorney might better word your claim to make it more effective.

  • Your Social Security disability lawyer is experienced and might have additional information on how to improve your claim.

What Should You Look for When Hiring a Social Security Lawyer?

When hiring a Social Security lawyer, ensure the person is an actual attorney. Many people misrepresent themselves as Social Security Disability attorneys by running ads as advocates. These individuals can often do a world of good for people with simple and straightforward cases, but the risk usually costs much more than the savings. 

Should you need to go to court or attend a hearing, these advocates cannot represent you because they are not attorneys. In fact, these professionals likely received no training at all. In some cases, they might partner with a local attorney to attend the hearing on your behalf, but you might never even meet them, and the person might only receive a quick rundown of your case.

At the Law Offices of Melanie Leavitt, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by licensed Social Security Lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana. Because we are local to your area, we are more familiar with some of the nuances of your situation, the local offices, and the local court system. This allows us to better represent you as true advocates, backed by law degrees. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.