How to Apply for SSI

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on August 3, 2017  in Social Security Disability News. Updated on March 2, 2022

young woman in wheelchairSupplemental Security Income (SSI) is provided to individuals who have a disability and meet certain income and resource limits. There are strict requirements that must be met in order to qualify for benefits.

Our New Jersey Social Security disability lawyers are familiar with the requirements that claimants must meet in order to obtain benefits. We help at every stage of the process, from the initial application to appeals. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for SSI, it is important to understand the eligibility requirements.

Medical Requirements

In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, a person must be one of the following:

  • Blind
  • Age 65 or older
  • Disabled

A person who is under the age of 65 is considered disabled for the purposes of receiving SSI if he or she suffers from a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last or has lasted for at least 12 months or will result in death. The condition must prevent the person from performing substantial gainful activity, which is defined as making $1,170 per month or more, as of 2017.

Nonmedical Requirements

In addition to these medical requirements, a claimant’s income and resources cannot exceed certain limits.

The SSA income requirements take into account:

  • Your wages from work
  • Food and shelter you receive for free
  • Income from sources such as workers’ compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, unemployment, and family and friends

A single person cannot have resources in excess of $2,000, and a married couple cannot have resources in excess of $3,000.

Resources that are counted by the SSA include:

  • Cash
  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Real property
  • Life insurance
  • Vehicles
  • Assets that can be converted to cash

There are certain exemptions, including your home, one vehicle, and household goods and personal effects.

Application Process

If you believe you may qualify for benefits, you should apply as soon as possible. The application process may seem straightforward, but any errors or missing information can easily derail your claim.

There are several methods available to apply for benefits, including the following:

Appointing a Legal Representative

All applicants have the right to appoint a legal representative to help you with your case. The person you appoint can:

  • Attend medical appointments
  • Complete all application and related forms
  • Gather medical records, information and other evidence
  • Represent you at any hearings
  • Assist you with an appeal

You should strongly consider hiring a competent disability lawyer to help with your claim, as we can help ensure your application is complete, accurate and submitted on time. Additionally, because many applicants are initially denied, an attorney will be valuable in guiding you through the complicated appeals process.

Documents You Will Need for Your SSI Application

You will need to provide a lot of information on your application about your employment history, social life, contact information, resources and disability.

Having a legal representative help you collect and organize this information can be invaluable. Some documents you will need include:

  • Identifying documents, including your birth certificate and Social Security number
  • Titles and registration for vehicles
  • Real property deeds
  • Life insurance or burial policies
  • Bank statements
  • Payroll stubs or tax returns
  • Employment history documents
  • Your resume
  • Medical reports including contact information for your doctors, lists of medications that you are currently prescribed, lab reports, hospital reports and treatment history

Your legal representative may gather these documents prior to completing the application so that your initial application can be as complete as possible.

However, if some of the information is not available or you accumulate additional documentation while your claim is pending, your legal representative can supplement information in the application.

Contact our Social Security Disability Lawyers

If you need assistance in filing for SSI benefits, the Lynch Law Firm, PC can help. We are familiar with all aspects of disability law and put this knowledge to use in every case.

We can examine your claim, help you determine if you are eligible for benefits and guide you through every step of the process. We will help gather your medical records and other evidence to help support your claim.

Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and only get paid if you get benefits. We can help you wherever you are in the SSI application process, whether you are applying for benefits for the first time or if you have already been denied benefits.

To schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your claim, call (800) 518-0508 .

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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