Apply for SSI onlineUpdated October 6, 2022
If you're considering the benefits of SSI, it's important to understand what this is and how it works. Applying for SSI online is a great way to make it easier. However, it can still be difficult if you try to apply for SSI online and are unsure what you're doing.
Before we get into how to apply for SSI online, let's look at what SSI is, who is eligible, and a few other things you should know.
What is Supplemental Security Income?
At taxpayer expense, SSI or supplemental security income is a federal income supplement program. It's a program funded by the general tax revenues, not social security taxes.
Supplemental security income is designed to help those who are disabled, blind, or aged without much income. It can provide the necessary cash to care for basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing.
This benefit program is managed by the Social Security Administration and provides monthly payments. According to AARP.org, more than 7.6 million people were receiving SSI benefits in 2022, and about 2.3 million were 65 years or older.
The Social Security Administration might manage the SSI benefits program, but doesn’t fund it. It's not the same thing as social security disability benefits. The majority of the funding comes from the U.S. Treasury general revenues.
Who is Eligible for SSI?
The qualifications for benefits from SSI can be a little tricky to figure out. First, you must be disabled, blind, or at least 65. Along with these requirements, you also have very limited financial resources. As of 2022, the most you could get from the federal funds was $841 for an individual or $1,261 for a couple when both people are eligible.
The countable income will be subtracted from your benefits if you are also collecting social security benefits. If your countable income exceeds the amount offered by SSI, you won't be eligible.
The Social Security Office will use a specific formula to determine the income eligibility for SSI benefits. If you earn money from work, it will count, but all of it might not count. Pensions and regular social security benefits are also countable. This will not be counted if you have government aid, such as home energy assistance or food stamps. Income tax refunds are also not counted.
Your financial assets will also help determine if you're eligible for these benefits. You cannot have financial assets of more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. However, owning a home, car, and other major possessions don't count against the benefit cap. However, additional real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds will count toward this limit.
A Quick Summary of SSI Eligibility
· Must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years of age
· Need to have very limited financial resources
· Cannot have financial assets of $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 for a couple
It's important to know that SSI differs from Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. You might be eligible for SSDI, but not for SSI.
SSI vs. SS vs. SSDI: What's the Difference?
SSI benefits, Social Security, and Social Security Disability Insurance are not the same thing. It's important to understand the difference between these benefits. We have already covered what SSI is, but let's look closer at what SS and SSDI are, exactly.
What is Social Security (SS)?
Social Security or SS is a payroll tax mandated by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The Social Security Tax also includes the Medicare tax. These two FICA taxes help to fund retirement and disability benefits. Social Security is a retirement benefit offered to anybody of qualifying age. You don't have to be on disability benefits to collect social security.
What is SSDI?
SSDI or Social Security Disability Benefits are different from Social Security or SSI. Instead of the needs-based eligibility of SSI, SSDI is determined by your work credits. It's also funded from the Medicare portion of the Social Security trust fund.
SSDI provides income for those who become disabled before they are old enough to collect Social Security benefits. If you have paid into the Social Security program and you become disabled, you might qualify for SSDI.
Three Different Benefits Programs
While SSI, SS, and SSDI all provide benefits, they are different. You might qualify for one, but not the others. They are not exactly disability insurance, but SSI and SSDI can help you, if you are disabled. The main differences between these three are explained below:
· SSI - Works best for those with limited financial resources that qualify based on age or disability.
· SS - An age-based program providing retirement benefits for those who spent their lives paying into the Social Security program through working.
· SSDI - A disability program that works for those not old enough to qualify for SS, but in need of assistance.
It's important to understand these differences before you choose the disability benefits application to fill out.
While it's important to know what SSI, SS, and SSDI are, it's also important to know what they are not. These are not types of medical insurance; none of these programs are the same as the supplemental nutrition assistance program. You won't gain access to long-term care or health care through any of these government programs.
How do I Apply for SSI?
When you want to apply for SSI, you want to make sure you know the process. After you figure out your eligibility, you can apply in the following ways:
· Start the Disability application process online - You may be able to use online services to apply for SSI. After making a disability or age determination, you can apply for SSI by starting the process online.
· Apply in Person - If you prefer to apply for SSI in person, you will need to call to make an appointment. Then, you will head to your local Social Security Office to file for your SSI benefits. You can have someone else call to set your appointment if you need help.
· Apply Over the Phone - If you prefer to file for your benefits over the phone, you can call our local Social Security Office to schedule a telephone appointment.
You can apply in any of these three ways, and you want to make sure you apply as soon as possible. Anybody can apply for SSO through the social security disability application form. There is no fee to apply.
When you prepare to apply for SSI, there are a few things you will need:
· Social Security number or Social Security card (if in person)
· Proof of your age, such as a birth certificate
· Citizenship or Alien Status Record, such as a birth certificate or passport card
· Proof of income and financial assets, including child support you receive.
· Proof of living arrangements
· Medical evidence documents or medical records, if you're applying as disabled or blind
· Work History
You may also need other things, such as proof of child care if you're applying on behalf of a disabled child. You must show your disability claim if you're applying ad blind or disabled. This is commonly done with a medical record.
How can Trajector Help Me?
When you're not sure how to get the benefits you're entitled to, Trajector is here to help. We help people with disabilities navigate the process to access the benefits they need. Our team will help you receive every penny you legally, ethically, and medically qualify for.