Supplemental Security Income or SSI is federally funded assistance for senior citizens or disabled people of any age with low income. If you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits and are over the age of 65, you may qualify for SSI if you meet income and resource requirements. If you're younger than 65, you may qualify if blind, disabled or have a medical condition that keeps you from working for at least one year or will result in death. You must live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands and be an American citizen or a legal U.S. resident.
Gather proof of all income, including wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. You will need to provide information on any cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds that you may have. If anyone is providing you with food or shelter, this information should also be included.
The value of the things you own must not be greater than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 if married. The home you live in and your car are not a part of this amount. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may still qualify.
Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment. If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can call 1-800-325-0778 (TTY).
Take the following to the appointment: proof of income and resources, Social Security card, proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status, birth certificate, information about where you live and health care information if blind or disabled.
You should also bring your checkbook or bank statements reflecting account numbers to be used for direct deposit of your benefits.
Complete the application process. Ask staff questions about anything you do not understand or about your specific case.
If you disagree with a decision made on your application, you may appeal or argue the decision.
Tips & Warnings
- Plan ahead. The wait time varies at each Social Security Administration location, so arrive early for your appointment and try not to schedule other appointments for that day.
- Make sure you have all required information when you arrive. If necessary information is missing, it will cause a delay in processing your application.
- Real estate that you own but do not live in counts toward your resources. Only property that you live in will not be counted.
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