It is important to understand that once a person has qualified for benefits under the rules for supplemental security income, they are not set for life. Qualifying for SSI is meant to be an ongoing process. Periodically, the Social Security Administration will contact beneficiaries to re-certify eligibility.
During COVID, recertifications were discontinued due the need to isolate and for government employees to discontinue making house calls to verify eligibility.
As of this year, re-certification and eligibility requirements have resumed. Almost all participants will have to re-certify eligibility at some point this year. If you have received a notice, do not panic. This is a normal part of the process.
Appealing an unacceptable eligibility decision is possible. However, no benefits will be provided while the appeal process is taking place. Also, monies paid by the government that are believed to have been in error must be re-paid immediately. Living without financial, or medical benefits may create hardships above and beyond the existing disability.
Some tips for finding an advocacy coach:
- Contact your financial advisor and ask if he or she is experienced in planning for families with Special Needs.
- Ask your doctor, pediatrician, or social worker for a referral.
- Search online for advocacy organizations that serve people with disabilities in your area or state.
- Contact your local SSI office for a list of advocacy organizations in your area.
When interviewing advocacy coaches, be sure to ask about their experience working with people with disabilities, their knowledge of SSI, and their fees. You should also feel comfortable with the coach and feel like they are someone you can trust.