Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a form of Social Security Disability benefit which is paid out based upon your inability to work and your financial needs. SSI differs from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based upon your work history and the amount you have paid into the Social Security Disability program in the form of payroll taxes.
Both Social Security Disability programs (SSI and SSDI) are administered by the Social Security Administration, and the application process for both programs is similar. Generally speaking, the programs will approve or deny your claim based on the same medical criteria. The main difference is that SSI does not require you to have worked or paid into the Social Security Disability system, focusing instead on your financial need.
If you have become disabled, and the disability is expected to keep you from working for a year or longer, you should contact the Social Security Administration immediately to begin the process of filing a Disability Claim. Because the claims process can be lengthy (often taking a year or more), taking care of it sooner than later will be more beneficial.
Residents of all US states may apply for SSI. Residents of most states can also apply for benefits from their state. In some states, these benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration. In other states, you will need to apply directly to your state. When you apply for Social Security Disability, be sure to ask about the procedures for applying for your state’s supplemental payments as well.
When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI, your claim may be denied. If it is, you will receive information regarding the appeals process. It is important that you start the appeals process as soon as possible. In most cases, you only have 60 days to send an appeal. Because navigating the bureaucracy can be tricky and time consuming, it is a good idea to have a Social Security Disability Attorney or Social Security Disability claims representative help with the appeals process.