Thursday, 14 February 2013

How to Qualify for Ssi Tips and Tricks

How to Qualify for Ssi

Author: Peter Drummond
While Supplemental Security Income can be very beneficial to many US citizens, it isn't always easy for one to find out how to qualify for SSI. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI for short, is a monthly stipend given by the US government for senior citizens (people over the age of 65) and disabled persons. The money provided does not come from the social security trust funds, but rather the US Treasury general funds. The SSI program was instituted in 1974 as a replacement for the several state-run programs that served the same purpose.
SSI is compensation that's based on need. Before learning how to apply for SSI, it helps to know if you may qualify. There are several ways to find out how to qualify for SSI. All too often, deserving claimants are not told they are eligible by the Social Security Administration to receive compensation from SSI. The three primary criteria that allow people to apply for SSI is age, disability or blindness. For age, a claimant must 65 years old or older. And to qualify for SSI as blind, one must have, according to the Social Security Administration, "central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a correcting lens."
Knowing how to qualify for SSI as disabled may be the trickiest to figure out. Generally, SSI follows the same definition for disability that's followed by the Social Security Administration. According to them, disability is "the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (work) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which has lasted or can be expected to last a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death." In other words, if some physical or mental obstacle is keeping you from working for longer than a year, you may be disabled. If you have been vetted as disabled by the Social Security Administration, then you are probably eligible for SSI. If you're not sure, then the first step is to file a claim with the Social Security Administration. You start this process at their website
Another aspect of knowing how to qualify for SSI is one's income level. Knowing how to qualify on SSI based on income may hinge on several factors. The state of residence, the federal living arrangement and the number of people living in a residence can all affect one's SSI eligibility.
The best way to find out if you're eligible for SSI is to meet with a social security representative. To find a how to qualify for SSI, you can meet with a social security representative near you. To find the nearest Social Security offices, call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 or visit to find social security offices nearest you. Parents and guardians can usually apply for a blind or disabled child under the age of 18, and in some cases, third parties are able to do the same.
When learning how to qualify for SSI, it's a good idea to take as much pertinent information to the meeting with a social security representative as you can. Be sure to bring your social security card. Also bring your birth certificate or some other evidence of your age. Bring as much information about your current living situation as you can. That includes any information about where you live, your landlord's name, your lease or your mortgage. Anything related to your work and finances is important as well. Take payroll slips, bank records, insurance policies, burial fund records and any other pertinent financial information. It is also a good idea to take along as much medical information as you can. That includes names of doctors, hospitals and clinics that have treated you, to show evidence of why you are applying for SSI because you are disabled or blind.
When learning how to qualify for SSI, it's important to be aware that you have the right to appeal any decisions made about your claim. If you think you have been unfairly denied a stipend you are eligible for, you can call the social security offices in your area and request an appeal form. You can also request an appeal by visiting the social security website.
Learning how to qualify for SSI can be confusing and challenging, but if you talk to the right people and prepare accordingly, you can make it a quick and painless experience that has the potential benefit you greatly.
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About the Author
Peter Drummond is a workers compensation and social security disability attorney licensed to practice in Illinois and Missouri, and owns a law firm called Drummond Law with offices throughout Illinois and Missouri.