The Bishop Law Firm understands the SSI Process in Raleigh, NC and will be with you every step of the way!

To be eligible for SSI you must be below SSA’s income/asset limits in addition to being found disabled under the five step sequential evaluation. The SSI limits for resources are $2,000 for an individual/child and $3,000 for a couple. Resources are defined by the Social Security Administration here. If you are below the resource level you proceed to the sequential evaluation.

The sequential evaluation:

1. Are you working?

2. Is your condition “severe”?

3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?

4. Can you do the work you did previously?

5. Can you do any other type of work?

The answer to each one of these questions is complicated to say the least. The Social Security Administration defines work as “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). SGA is roughly defined as work from earnings that average more than $1,180 a month (2018). If you are making that amount you generally cannot be considered disabled. Severe is defined by the Social Security Administration as: your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.

The list of disabling conditions is called the Listings. The Listings are very hard to meet in most cases and not always interpreted as a common reading would suggest. If you meet a listing you are gravely ill. The listings are found here.

The Social Security Administration will look at your past work and determine if it was sedentary, light, medium, or heavy. They also will evaluate the skill level: unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled. For instance, an attorney would be sedentary skilled work.

If the Social Security Administration finds that you cannot do what you used to do, they then look to see if you can do anything else. This is where the “grids” come into play. The grids are the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The grids are only for exertional impairments. Non-exertional impairments are not considered by the grids. If you are found to be capable of any other work, you will be found not disabled. The grids can be found here.

SSI is also available for disabled children and is evaluated under a different standard than adults. Children must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments (including emotional or learning problems) which results in marked and severe functional limitations; and the impairment(s) has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or be expected to result in death. Child SSI terminates when the child turns 18. The claimant will then have to reapply and be evaluated under the above adult sequential evaluation.

The SSI Process for Raleigh NC is difficult, but you do not have to face it alone. Call The Bishop Law Firm!

Resources: