How to Apply for SSI Disability Benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal disability program that provides monthly benefits to disabled adults and children who have low income and resources. To qualify for SSI benefits, claimants must prove their disability and demonstrate that they have little or no income and resources. The value of the things you own must be less than $2,000 if you are single or less than $3,000 if you are married. If you believe you qualify for SSI benefits, you should file an application. You should apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. SSA cannot pay benefits for time periods before the date of the application. You can apply for SSI benefits by:
  • Applying Online: Applications can be filed online on SSA’s website. You can visit their website here to start the application.
  • Apply Over the Phone: You can call SSA to schedule an appointment and apply for SSI benefits. Call SSA at (800) 772-1213 or (800) 325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing to make an appointment.
  • Visit Your Local Office: SSA has local field offices located throughout the Bay Area and California. These offices are now open to the public. You can visit your local office to schedule an appointment and apply for benefits.
When you apply for SSI benefits, you’ll need to provide information to Social Security including:
  • Identification Information: You will need to provide your name, date of birth, social security number, and other identifying information. You’ll also need to provide proof that you live in the United States.
  • Medical Information: To prove your disability, you’ll need to provide Social Security with the names of the doctors, clinics, and professionals who treat your disability. You will also need to provide a list of the medication and treatment you have received.
  • Assets and Income Documentation: You will need to provide information about the benefits you receive, copies of recent tax records, and copies of bank statements to demonstrates that you meet the SSI asset and income requirements.
After you file your SSI application, the case will be processed by your local Social Security office and then sent to the Disability Determination Service for medical review. The application process takes approximately six months to complete. During this time, SSA may reach out to you to get additional information about your disability or your assets and resources. It is your responsibility to timely respond to any request from SSA. After SSA processes your application, they will send you an award letter or a denial letter. Some applicants receive a denial, telling them that their claim for SSI benefits has been denied. An applicant may be denied if they do not meet the resources requirement, they are still working and earning more than substantial gainful activity, or there is a medical denial. If you get a denial letter that states you are not disabled, please contact our office to discuss your appeal options.

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