Financial stability is an extremely important component of having a good quality of life. As one gets older, one may experience significant changes in their health and general lifestyle. Often, these changes can bring temporary or permanent expenses to maintain that quality of life, whereas older people generally may not be able to make enough to meet such expenditures. Sometimes a person’s inability to work to make a living can be brought on by a temporary or permanent illness or disability. These conditions can render someone who is financially strapped. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can step in as a lifeline in such times. The SSI is an income supplement program arranged for by the United States federal government and funded by general taxes. It is meant to help anyone who is either aged or has a disability and who has insufficient means to meet their living expenses. Following are some steps you can take to properly file an SSI claim.
Read the Eligibility Criteria Thoroughly
To be eligible for SSI, you must meet its criteria. For the most part, if you are aged (65 or above), have blindness or any disability, and have limited resources and income, you will be eligible for SSI. But there is a bit more to this than that. It would hence be a great deal helpful if you visit their website to understand what requirements are listed for each criterion. It is important to understand what each of these terminologies means since the requirements from Social Security Administration (SSA) are very strict about what they consider being disabled or underprivileged. For example, the SSA only considers a person as disabled if their medical condition, regardless of mental or physical nature, causes them to be unable to work for at least 12 months. So the SSA doesn’t quite consider if you were out of work for a few months owing to being temporarily disabled. Similarly, when considering income and resources, there are some sources that the SSA will count and some it won’t count while considering whether you are eligible for SSI.
Get In Touch With The SSA To Start Your Application
You must get your application for claiming SSI started as soon as possible so it starts getting processed and you receive your benefits as soon as you are deemed eligible. To apply, you can start by visiting the relevant website or directly calling the SSA number provided. In case you have a hearing disability, they have another line to service that need. You can also ask someone to make the call on your behalf. You might want to also consider seeking legal guidance, as explained by the professionals at laportelawfirm.com/supplemental-security-income/, online or make an appointment for a consultation. While a lot of free information is available on the internet at your disposal, it can get confusing. You must know that anyone has the right to apply for the SSI and there is no charge to do so, so it must not be a deterrent. You even have the facility to call the SSA directly if you are unsure about your eligibility and make an appointment with them to go through the criteria. If you make the call and file your application within 60 days of your appointment, the SSA might even use the date of your call as the application date.
Prepare Your Documentation
Once you have a good enough understanding of what the criteria are and you feel you qualify, the next step for you is to prepare documentation for your application. The SSA will need documents to determine whether you fit their criteria. If you’re 65 or above, they will need proof of age in the form of a public or religious birth record recorded before you turned 5. Your application would also need your proof of citizenship or alien record since only legal citizens or specific aliens are eligible for the SSA. Such documents can be in the form of a birth certificate, a naturalization certificate, a US passport, or immigration documents for aliens. Other documents you’ll need would be those showing proof of earned and lost income and work expenses. You’ll also be required to provide proof of resources like insurance, property other than the house you reside in, or statements of any savings accounts. Proof of living arrangements will also be required. In case of a medical condition, the kind of documentation and tests needed for proof will be determined by the SSA.
The Supplemental Security Income can be a very helpful source of income if you are someone who needs assistance in maintaining a good quality of life. Since anyone can apply without charge, it is strongly recommended that you apply if you feel you are eligible and ask the SSA for help in your application. Do thorough research and seek guidance if you are unsure on how to apply.