Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") is additional income from the government for people who are disabled, blind or over the age of 65. SSI is specifically for those with low incomes and limited resources. Unlike other types of benefits, SSI is not based on work experience.
Applying for SSI benefits is a two part process. First you must fill out a disability report. This report may be done on line or you can visit a social security office in person to have someone help you fill it out. This report has seven parts. The first is an overview of the report. The second requires you to input information about yourself, such as name and address. The third asks for information about your medical history. This includes information about medication, medical procedures and treatments and contact information for doctors or other medical professionals involved in your treatment. The fourth asks for work and education history for the previous fifteen years. Required information includes position title and employer name, hours worked per day and week, pay rate, timeframe at each job, and a general description of your job duties. The fifth section is the remarks section. This section allows you too add any information you believe would help your case for disability benefits. The sixth section is the review section, which allows you to review all of you answer before submitting the report on line. Finally is the submit section, which is the final step of the report. The overview, review and submit sections only apply to the online version of the application, but the rest of the report is the same.
The report is just on step in the application process. If you submit the report online, to complete the application you still must go to a social security office and fill out the rest of the application in person. If you choose to fill out the report in person, you may complete the entire process in one visit. The offices accept appointments or walk-ins, but keep in mind that walk-ins will have to wait for service.
Whether you can get SSI benefits also depends on your income and resources, which requires additional information. In deciding your income the agency looks to your wages, any other social security benefits, and pensions. However, not all of your income is considered income for SSI purposes. For example, if you are disabled, any money used to buy items which help you work, such as a wheel chair or cane to make it easier to get around, will not be included in figuring out your income. Resources are items like real estate, aside from the place you are actually living, bank accounts and stocks and bonds. An individual may have no more than $2,000, a married couple may have up to $3,000, worth or resources. This is important because if you are found to make too much money or have too much in resources, you can be denied benefits.
Getting SSI benefits requires keeping track of a lot of information, which can be confusing and time consuming. Also about 60% of applications are denied the first time, so it is in your best interest to file an appeal. The appeals process has its own set of rules and have someone with experience by your side can make things easier. Please contact us if you are in need of a social security lawyer in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
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