Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a welfare-based Social Security disability benefits program in which claimants who are medically disabled with a limited income and resources in San Francisco can qualify for. In order to apply for SSI, you must fill out SSA’s Application for Supplemental Security Income, also known as the SSA-8001. The application is approximately 10 pages long and can be daunting for many first-time applicants, so we’ve provided an explanation of what you need to know when filling it out.
Part I: Basic Eligibility
The first section of the application asks you basic questions about your contact information, conditions, and legal status. It is important to read through this section of the application carefully so you don’t miss any questions. Question 12 is very important as it asks you the date you became unable to work and for a listing of your conditions. SSA will use this information when making a medical decision. You must next fill out your citizenship information and whether you have recently traveled outside of the United States.
Part II: Living Arrangement
Part II starts on page 5 of the application and is very short. SSA needs to know whether you live in a house, apartment, mobile home, shelter, etc. so they can begin determining your technical eligibility for SSI. You must state how long you have lived there and who you are living with.
Part III: Resources
This is a very important section of the application and it is essential to answer each question. Because SSI eligibility is based on a claimant’s limited income and resources, SSA provides a list of resources you could potentially have and asks you to mark “yes” or “no” if you own anything on the list. If you mark “yes” for any resource (resources include vehicles, bank accounts, property, insurance policies, etc.) you must list exactly how many of each you have and each resource’s cash value. Generally, you must have under $2,000 in resources for an individual and under $3,000 for a couple in order to qualify.
Part IV: Income
This section is also essential to fill out thoroughly as your current income plays a big role in determining your eligibility for SSI. You must list any form of income you, your husband, or your children are receiving; the amount received monthly or yearly; and where it is from. Generally, to be eligible for SSI you must be receiving under the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is $603/month for an individual and $904/month for a couple.
Part V: Food Stamps
This short section asks you whether you are currently receiving Food Stamps. If you are, it will not affect your SSI eligibility. If you are not and would like to apply, you can write that down in this section and SSA will send you an application (or if you are filling out the SSI application over the phone with a representative, they will fill out the application with you).
Part VI: Miscellaneous
This section only needs to be filled out if you are requesting benefits for someone else.
Part VII: Remarks
This is the last section if the SSI application and is your chance to write anything down that you did not have room for earlier in the application or that you feel SSA needs to know. For example, if you are currently receiving any sort of monthly income which is actually going to stop in the near future, you can write that here. If you are supporting any family member with your monthly income, you should list that as well.
Again, it is imperative when filling out the SSI application that you read through it very carefully so as not to miss any questions. One way to ensure that the application is filled out thoroughly and correctly is to hire an attorney to handle your claim for you. Your disability attorney will stay on top of all paperwork and requests from Social Security and make sure that all your medical records have been received. For more information, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.