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Applying for SSI or SSDI

Applying for SSI or SSDI

How does one apply for the government benefits of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

If you are disabled and unable to work you may feel hopeless, but there are a number of government-administered benefits offered to help those in your situation. Two of these, the SSI and SSDI programs, provide cash benefits to those in need. SSI is a program for those who are low income and disabled, while SSDI provides benefits to those who are disabled with a relevant work history. If your situation fits into either of the above categories, you may be entitled to monthly benefits. In this article, we will cover the basics of the application process.

Where do you apply for disability benefits?

While SSI and SSDI provide similar types of benefits, you actually apply for each one differently. You must apply for SSI either in person at a Social Security office or over the phone. You can walk into an office at any time but the Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends that you make an appointment to avoid a long wait.

For SSDI, you can apply in person or over the phone, but you also have the option of submitting an online application.

What information do you need to apply?

For both SSI and SSDI you need proof of your identity and citizenship. Therefore you should bring a driver’s license or birth certificate as well as your social security card. For SSI, you will need to prove that you meet the income requirements, so you must bring documentation of your assets. This includes proof of your income, bank statements, information relating to any property you own, other than your primary residence, as well as lease or rental information if you rent. You should also bring information relating to any vehicles you own.

Because SSDI is not an income-based program, if you are applying for this benefit you should bring proof of your work history instead of that of your financial situation. Items such as W-2s and other tax documents are helpful in proving your employment background.

What happens after you apply?

After you complete your application, the SSA will review it and make a determination as to whether you are disabled and if you are entitled to the benefit you applied for. SSA will then notify of you of its decision in writing.

Remember, this is just some basic logistical information about the disability application process. For more in depth assistance, you should contact a New York City disability law attorney today.

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