Social Security offers monthly benefits for qualified people through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. If you receive SSI, you may also be eligible for other benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid.
Who Qualifies for Supplemental Security Income?
There are three groups of people who are eligible for SSI. Those who qualify must be:
- 65 years old or older
- Disabled: Children and adults must have a physical or mental problem that will last longer than a year
- Blind: Children and adults must be totally blind or have very poor eyesight – if your sight is not poor enough to qualify for benefits as a blind person, you still may be eligible for SSI as a disabled person if your poor eyesight prevents you from working
How Do I Apply for Supplemental Security Income?
You may apply for SSI over the phone or by visiting a Social Security office. When you apply you will need to provide various information and documents including: Your Social Security number, proof of age, doctor and hospital contact information, a copy of your lease, mortgage or other housing information.
What Does the Social Security Administration Consider when Reviewing My Application?
Because SSI is designed to supplement your income, whether you are approved for SSI will depend on how much income you have and what you own:
- Income: Income may include you and your spouse’s wages, Social Security benefits, pensions, energy discounts, and non-cash items such as food, clothing and shelter you receive
- Things you own: Things you own include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, bonds – examples of things usually not included in ownership calculations include your home, land you live on, and car
Do I Need a Lawyer?
A government attorney experienced with Social Security benefits and regulations can help you submit your SSI claim. If you are having a problem obtaining your supplemental income, a lawyer can help prepare and file an appeal. An attorney can also determine if a family member is eligible for benefits because of your disability.