Applying for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits: The Basics

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on Sep, 2015


If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI benefits, the process can seem daunting.  Legislatures in Washington, DC don’t want your SSI application to be difficult, but that’s often the end result of all of the bureaucracy involved with the program.  However, keep these basics in mind and you can get your application processed and hopefully approved with as little stress as possible.

When Can You Apply to SSI?
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must suffer from a condition which severely impairs your daily life, making it hard to earn a regular income.  In order to prove that your condition is severe and has resulted in severe impairments, you will need to obtain the opinion of a medical professional.  Once you meet both of those requirements, you must have been affected by your disability for a full calendar year before qualifying for Social Security Disability, or a doctor must verify that your condition will impact your daily life for a full year.

How Can You Complete an SSI Application?
If you are filing for title 2 benefits, or Social Security Disability benefits only, there is an online application you can view to complete the process as quickly as possible.  Currently, title 16 benefits, commonly called “SSI,” can not be applied for online.  In order to make sure that you are receiving all the benefits that you should, it’s best to apply in person by making an appointment at your nearest Social Security office.  Depending on your disability and mobility, appointments can also be conducted over the telephone.

What Do You Need When You Apply?
Before turning in your SSI application, make sure that you have everything you need to be approved.  For starters, you will need the names, contact information, and dates of treatment for each and every doctor and clinic you have visited for your impairment.  SSI evaluators will use this to investigate your medical record.  Additionally, you will need information about jobs you have worked in the past 15 years.  You will also need information about your family status, like children and recent marriages or divorces, as well as your service status if you are a veteran.  Finally, you will need information about your income and financial resources to determine if you qualify.

Can You Appeal a SSI Application’s Decision?
All applications for Social Security benefits can be appealed if you disagree with your applications outcome.  To do so, you will need to file an appeals form, and make sure that you have all of the relevant information above on hand.  Click here to know more.

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