Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program administered by Social Security. They pay monthly benefits to people with limited income who are disabled, blind, or are 65 years of age or older. Blind or disabled children are also eligible for this program. This federal income supplement program is funded by general tax revenues instead of Social Security Taxes.
The cash provided by this program is intended to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. In most states, it may also provide you with medical assistance for hospital stays, doctor bills, prescription drugs, and other medical expenses.
When applying for the SSI benefits, the interview is of the utmost importance. There is a lot of merit to being able to prepare for this stage. Part of this preparation is knowing what type of questions or information will be required.
What Should I Be Prepared To Answer During The SSI Interview?
Once the application has been processed and the interview has been scheduled, what’s left is the actual interview itself. Social Security does provide a checklist for personal and income information that they will require for completing the interview to determine your eligibility.
Applicants are encouraged to keep their appointment even if they do not have everything on the checklist as the organization will help them with any missing information.
During the actual interview, the applicant will be questioned on some of the details about their disability and financial status, similar to the information on the checklist.
Some of the specifics about the applicant’s condition include:
- The last day the applicant worked;
- The names, addresses, contact numbers, and date of visits to the patient’s doctor;
- The names of medication and medical tests that the applicant has had;
- Their marital information.
These are some of the things that are asked for during any disability interview with Social Security. For SSI interviews in particular, they will also ask:
- The applicant’s current living arrangement, which includes all the people who live there and household expenses.
- All of the applicant’s sources of income as well as their spouse’s if applicable.
- The applicant’s resources which include bank account balances, vehicles, and any other investments.
Who Is Eligible For This Program?
Aside from the previously mentioned requirements. People who are interested in applying for this program must also:
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or qualified alien;
- Be a resident of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands; and
- Not be absent from the U.S. for a full month or 30 or more consecutive days
Social Security also provides the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool which can help assess whether or not you qualify for the benefits of this program or other programs.
How Do I Apply For SSI?
On their website, Social Security has a guide detailing the application process. There is no documentation required for beginning this process, but there are some basic information that they will need either from the applicant or the person assisting the applicant:
- The name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the applicant;
- The mailing address and phone number of applicant;
- The name and phone number of the person assisting the applicant; and
- Optionally, the email address of the applicant.
Following the application, a representative will schedule an appointment via mail, email, or both. If the person assisting the applicant is the one scheduling the appointment, they are asked to inform the applicant that they will be contacted via phone by a representative to discuss their interest in the program.
If the appointment can not be confirmed online, then it may be arranged via phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. They may also be contacted through the local Social Security office whose number can be found using Social Security’s Field Office Locator.
To understand more about disability benefits, visit DisabilityHelp’s article on Social Security Disability Lawyers!