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Social Security Disability Appeal & Benefits: When Will SSI Kick In During An SSDI Appeal

Dallas, TX |

I applied for SSDI/SSI in Dec. 2009. After my second ALJ hearing, the ALJ ruled me disabled, but because of an ongoing incorrect AOD issue, he dismissed my SSDI claim (very confusing back story) and approved my SSI claim based upon an AOD past my DLI. Shortly after the hearing, I received a call from the SSA to determine SSI illegibility. Unfortunately, I had a few hundred dollars over the $2,000 asset limit, therefore I was denied SSI benefits. I explained my claim was (at that time) about to be appealed. I successfully appealed the SSDI dismissal while the AC agreed to my disability. The claim was remanded solely to determine my AOD. Within a few months, my assets naturally dropped below $2,000 (and has so since). Shouldn't I be able to receive SSI benefits at that point onward?

If my assets just happen to be a little over the $2,000 limit at the time of hearing (SSI evaluation), does that mean I will never be able to collect SSI benefits, ever (even if/when my assets drop below $2,000)? Should I have reported my assets dropped below the limit or does any of this matter since my claim is still in appeals? At the very least, the AC has stipulated I am disabled as of April 2010, so when my assets drop below the limit a couple of months after that evaluation, shouldn’t my SSI benefits begin? Is this just a matter of reporting to the SSA my assets have dropped? My representative has absolutely failed to explain ANY of this to me, so I feel completely lost. With Obamacare requiring me to invest in an insurance plan while my claim is in appeals is confusing enough (especially when I think I should be receiving SSI benefits if not now, but since my assets dropped below the limit). What are my options here, and what should my representative told me?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

The first thing I would recommend is speaking to your attorney, if you are represented by an attorney who appealed your claim. Your attorney should be able to explain what is happening with your case on appeal. If you or your attorney only appealed the SSD portion of your claim to the Appeals Council, then you should have reported the drop in your assets to the SSA. You would have been eligible to receive benefits on your SSI application when your assets dropped below the $2000 limit.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for replying. I've already been down the road of trying to get answers from my representative for the last 2 years, but I'm not going to waste anymore time waiting for his non-responses. What my representative "should" be doing is a far cry compared to what he "is" doing, and it's beyond frustrating when other lawyers keep pointing me back to asking him the questions I'm asking here. I don't know why he's not responding to my emails, and I don't know why his paralegals (if they so happen to respond) give me one-sentence answers (which never solves my questions). I end up with MORE questions because of the lack of answering the previous ones. It's an infinite loop. So, should I contact the SSA ODAR myself and let them know of my current assets? How would I do this; what evidence would they need to see? When the ALJ dismissed my SSDI claim only to award an SSI judgment, my representative later stated he didn't even know I had "any" money. Even though I personally told him otherwise at least twice, and my records showed my current account balance, he still allowed the ALJ to dismiss my SSDI claim (by changing my onset date to AFTER my DLI), and when it came to awarding me SSI, my representative didn't bother to explain to me what that meant.

Dianna Cannon

Dianna Cannon

Posted

If you are within a year's time frame of the suspension of your SSI benefits, you can call and visit your local Social Security office and give them the information proving your assets have fallen below the limit. If the SSI portion of your case is not on appeal at the Appeals Council, then the SSA should reinstate your benefit. You do not need an attorney to demonstrate your income or assets to the local SSA office.

Posted

It's impossible to answer your question fully based on the information provided. Generally, when your SSI benefits are suspended based on excess resources (having more than $2,000), you have 12 months after the effective date of the suspension to have your benefits reinstated. After that, SSA automatically terminates your SSI claim, and you have to start over with a new claim. I recommend that you hurry down to your local Social Security office and see if there is still time to have your SSI claim reinstated. If not, file a new one ASAP.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for replying. But what about the fact both my SSDI and SSI claims are in appeals because of an incorrect onset date? To me, there was never a final decision for the SSI claim because it is part of the current appeal. They based my SSI decision (during the second hearing) on an incorrect onset date (a date they used that is AFTER my DLI - they have really screwed up with my AOD - it's a long story that after four years I think is finally being addressed during my third ALJ hearing). I don't think the SSA representative should have moved forward with a SSI eligibility evaluation after the second hearing because everything surrounding that SSI decision was about to be appealed (I told her this on the phone, but she wanted to continue with her evaluation). Like I said, I was unfairly unaware of any SSI asset limit, and because my assets were just a few hundred dollars over the limit, I could have easily bought a much needed mattress for my fused back that would have placed me under that limit. For the last four years, I have placed my whole life on hold; not purchasing anything and not even leaving the house for fear the ALJ will say I'm not disabled simply because I walked to my curb one day. Can you point me to any documentation that after 12 months the SSA will terminate SSI eligibility on the current application? Thanks...

Patrick Cook-Hanalei Spencer II

Patrick Cook-Hanalei Spencer II

Posted

You can find this documentation in the POMS online (SSA's internal policy manual). Start with SI 02301.201and SI 02301.205. The POMS can be a bit challenging to work through if you're not familiar with the tiny details of the way SS programs work. It sounds as though your SSDI application is still pending and should not be affected by the issues with the SSI. Ultimately, if SSDI comes through and you are found disabled prior to your date last insured, the SSI may become moot. But SSI might at least be able to pay you something while the SSDI claim works its way through the process. That's why I suggested going down to the local office ASAP.

Posted

Clams beyond the DLI are really difficult. If you can try to get your dr to say you were disabled in the past you may try to file for Ssdi.
You should be able to submit to your atty your bank records stating you have less than 2k to get Ssi again. If you are pro se I assume you can take it to local office and see your Ss rep.