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Free consultations. Se Habla Español

What information needs to be in a California SSI application?

As readers of this blog may remember, there are two basic forms of federal disability benefits available from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). The first is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is available to those who are disabled and have previously paid into the system. The other, and the one we will look at today, is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a program aimed at people who are elderly, blind or disabled who have limited income and resources. Because the programs serve different people, the information necessary for an SSI application may differ than that required for SSDI.

Any California resident applying for SSI needs to be ready to provide certain basic information to the SSA. This includes not only personal details, such as the applicant's name and address, but also information about any income or assets that individual possesses. The applicant will have to specify whether he or she lives with anyone else and how the bills are paid. Any other benefit checks received by the applicant will also have to be disclosed, as well as the person's immigration status if he or she is not a U.S. Citizen.

Of course, if the SSI application is based upon the applicant's inability to work due to a disability, the nature and severity of the disability will need to be stated. The applicant should also be prepared to tell the SSA how long the disability has persisted, and how it tends affect his or her ability to carry out the functions of daily life. The applicant will need to inform the SSA of the doctors he or she has seen and sign a release allowing the SSA access to his or her medical records.

Because of the stringent resource requirements, fewer people generally qualify for SSI than SSDI. However, because of the nature of the population that SSI is meant to help, the potential benefits received may be the difference in being able to survive for many applicants. Because of this, Californians with questions regarding a SSI application may wish to consider speaking with an experienced disability attorney.

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