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Will the SSA pay for Tennesseans' SSI-related travel expenses?

When a Tennessee resident applies for disability benefits, he or she will be required to furnish information about his or her disabling medical condition. Often, this will mean that a Tennessean may need to obtain medical tests or exams to document his or her condition. Such tests may necessitate travel, which can be expensive and tax a person's already limited resources. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration may pay such travel costs for a recipient of SSI benefits.

Individual states' Disability Determination Services (DDS) may not only pay for costs related to travel to and from necessary medical appointments, but may also make arrangements for the required tests or exams. The DDS is the department in charge of making decisions regarding disability and blindness pertaining to SSI-related benefits.

A Tennessean who is seeking to have his or her travel costs paid should anticipate a letter from the DDS about a specific required test. The letter will specify what a person should do following his or her medical exam in order to be reimbursed for travel costs. If a person needs travel money before going to the test, the person ought to communicate with the DDS representative who sent the letter to explain his or her special circumstances and why he or she may need travel money in advance, or other assistance with transportation to the appointment.

Disabled individuals who are seeking reimbursement for travel expenses will need to fill out a required form documenting travel costs, and may need to furnish receipts. A person who was given travel money prior to the appointment will receive additional funds if his or her costs were not covered in full, or, if the SSA provided too much money, he or she will have to repay any extra money. Tennessee residents with questions about travel expenses or other SSI matters may wish to consider consulting with an attorney for guidance.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Spotlight On Payment For Travel To Medical Exams or Tests - 2015 Edition," accessed Feb. 12, 2016

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