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Reinstating SSI benefits

SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is provided by the Social Security Administration for claimants who are aged (65 years or older), disabled or blind but who have not been employed or have not paid enough employment taxes to accumulate work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Additionally, SSI claimants must also have and have VERY limited income and resources and be unable to work work at a substantial level for at least 12 continuous months.

How can I restart my SSI Benefits?

Some claimants work part-time or their earnings increase and they lose their Supplemental Security income benefits. If this happened to you, you may be wondering if you have to file a new Supplemental Security Income application or if the Social Security Administration will simply begin giving you SSI benefits again.

The Social Security Administration (SS) has created what they term an “expedited reinstatement process” for qualifying claimants. How do you know if you are eligible for an expedited reinstatement of your SSI benefits?

According to the SSA, you may have your SSI benefits reinstated if you:

• Stopped receiving benefits because of earnings from work,
• Are unable to work or perform substantial gainful activity,
• Are disabled because of an impairment(s) that is the same as or related to the impairment(s) that allowed you to get benefits earlier, and
• Make the request within 5 years from the month your benefits ended.

There is more good news. The SSA also will provide provisional payments when you make an expedited request. Provisional payments can generally include not only your cash payments but also your medical coverage, which is Medicaid for SSI claimants. Under most conditions, the claimant is not required to pay the provisional payments back, even if the Social Security Administration eventually denies the reinstatement request.

How long will the provisional payments last? Provisional payments can be paid up to six months, until you reach your full retirement age, you engage in substantial gainful activity or the SSA makes their decision and notifies you of their decision.

If you were receiving social security benefits and they were terminated because you returned to work and began performing substantial gainful activity (working more and making more money than the SSA allows), you have five years (60 months) to reinitiate disability benefits without filing a new disability application. The SSA will require you to provide your current medical information.

The Steps to Reinstate SSI Benefits

1. Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but make sure you have your SSI disability paperwork and information about your income (pay stubs, a letter from your employer, or separation notice).

2. Notify the SSA representative that you would like to reinstate your Supplemental Security Income benefits.

3. Take action. Be sure to do whatever the SSA representative tells you to do.