How to Apply For SSI and SSDI Benefits?
There are many ways to apply for Social Security disability (SSDI) or SSI disability. Below are 3 ways you can file.
Starting Your Application Online
For SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), you an file your application for disability benefits online by going to Social Security website. SSDI is for those who have a strong work history and has paid Social Security taxes into the system for the required number of years. You'll need to essentially have 5 years of full time work out of the last 10 years to file under the SSDI program.
The other disability program is the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program. Most people cannot apply for SSI online. If you are or have been married, have previously applied for SSI, are applying for blindness or low vision, or are applying for SSI for a child, you cannot apply online. In addition, only those SSI applicants who are also applying for SSDI can apply online. Sometimes its best to file both an SSDI claim and an SSI claim if you are unsure about which program you fall under. This way you cover your basis. Keep in mind that SSI is a needs based program. This means that you not only have to meet the medical disability requirement but you must also meet the financial requirement. If you are found to be over-resourced, you may not be eligible for SSI. However, SSI is a program for those that may not qualify for SSDI. For example, if you do not have a strong history, you likely cannot file for SSDI, BUT you may be eligible for SSI. Its always advisable to contact an attorney if you need any assistance.
Applying At Your Local SSA Office
Many people may want to file their claim in person. This way you can ask any questions you may have to a live person. There are many local SSA offices and its best to find the nearest location to you. You can find your nearest SSA office by going HERE. SSA may not take you as a walk-in, so you will want to call in advance to set up an appointment. At your scheduled appointment, the SSA representative can better determine which program, whether it be SSDI or SSI, you qualify to apply for. This appointment may be conducted in person at the Social Security office, or over the phone. If you choose to have a phone appointment, all of the required paperwork will be mailed to your home for you to fill out and return. If you have any questions about any of the forms you receive, you can also call the national Social Security office at 800-772-1213.
Disability Application Forms
There are various forms you'll need to file if you are filing by the paper application. A Social Security representative, or if you have an attorney, can help you fill out these forms.
To apply for SSI, you'll need to fill out Form SSA-8000-BK, Application for Supplemental Security Income, plus either Form SSA-3368-BK, Adult Disability Report or Form SSA-3820-BK, Disability Report-Child.
If you have any trouble or questions, contact your local SSA office or a disability attorney for assistance. Our office helps applicants in their pursuit of disability benefits at every stage. All consultations are always free so do not hesitate to call me at 210-885-3408.