What is it?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program run by the Social Security Administration whereby qualified individuals receive monthly benefits. Those who are disabled, have reached the retirement age of 66 or older, or are blind, and have both a limited income and constrained resources qualify. Additionally, children may also receive SSI if they are blind or disabled.
How do I apply?
In order to apply for SSI, the Social Security Administration recommends individuals call 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website to find a local office. Then individuals can make an appointment to fill out the appropriate paperwork with a Social Security representative.
Adults can file to apply for SSI by phone or in person.
Once the online application is submitted, a Social Security representative from a local office will make outreach. This rep may or may not need more information in order to process the final request. Currently there’s not an online application for children to file. Instead, start by reviewing the Child Disability Starter kit and then contact a local Social Security office to fill out the report.
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible if you have less than $2,000 in resources as an individual or $3,000 as a couple. There are certain assets that are not considered resources, such as your car or your home. In addition, you have to have income of less than $735 a month as an individual or $1,103 as a couple, and you must show that you have reached retirement age (66 years old) or are found disabled.
Is there an appeals process?
If legally eligible individuals are denied SSI they can file an appeal through the Social Security offices appeals webpage. Submission of this form can be done online or through the toll-free number listed above. Additionally, the same webpage allows individuals to check the status of their appeal once it’s submitted.
Because of the legal implications revolving around SSI, we recommend consulting our experienced attorneys during the appeal process. While the first step of the appeal’s process involves a reconsideration phase, the second step involves a hearing where our team can help fight for your benefits.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.