How can I apply for Supplemental Security Income?
SSI is designed to provide vital financial support for eldery, blind or disabled Americans with insufficient income. Here's how to claim the payments...
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a variety of different financial relief programmes, designed to provide additional support for vulnerable or low-income Americans.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offers financial aid for disabled adults and children with limited income and resources to ensure that they are able to cover the cost of essentials. SSI is funded directly by the US Treasury, rather than through Social Security taxes like most SSA programmes.
Who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income?
SSI is designed to offer support for specific groups of low-income Americans, meaning that the eligibility requirements for the programme are fairly strict. Most crucially, recipients of SSI must be at least one of the following to successfully claim the support:
- Aged 65 or older
In general recipients must be a US citizen or national, but certain categories of legal aliens are also accepted. Beneficiaries of SSI must not be absent from the country for a full calendar month, or for a spell of 30 consecutive days. They must not be confined to an institution like a prison or hospital that is funded by the government.
They must also have a limited income and limited resources. There are no fixed thresholds for these criteria as they are related to the claimant’s exact circumstances and the area of the country in which they live.
Finally you must agree to submit to any requests from the SSA regarding your financial records and to file an application in the agreed manner. The SSA can also impose other requirements in certain circumstances.
Anyone unsure about whether or not they qualify can call the SSA on 1-800-772-1213 (or TTY 1-800-325-0778 for the deaf or hard of hearing).
How to apply for Supplemental Security Income
Once you’ve checked the eligibility requirements and are sure that you are entitled to support, you must then start your application. You can begin the process online or over the phone. If you are not able to submit the application yourself, the SSA do offer help with SSI claims.
Online – Visit Apply Online for Disability Benefits to begin the process. This portal also gives the option to apply for other SSA programmes like the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), as well as SSI.
Telephone – Call 1-800-772-1213 (or TTY 1-800-325-0778 for the deaf or hard of hearing) to make an appointment to apply for SSI. From there you can arrange a telephone appointment with a representative from your local Social Security Office to submit your claim for SSI benefits.
Bear in mind that you should make your application as soon as possible to avoid missing out on payments. The SSA do not back pay benefits you may have been eligible to receive before the start date of your application.