There are federal government programs that have been created to help those in California who may not have the ability to care for themselves, either because of old age or because they have been disabled. This program is called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. Having the opportunity to sign up for these benefits does give people peace of mind, but the fact is that the process can be quite daunting to go through. The following includes further information on the SSI process and what you should know before applying.
Who is eligible to apply for SSI?
One of the first things you must look into is who can actually apply for SSI benefits. The reason for this is because the government is stringent as to who is eligible. For example, anyone above the age of 65 meets the age requirement. But what if you’re below that age? You may qualify for SSI if you are a U.S. citizen below 65 and are disabled along with having a limited income.
How you can begin applying
If you are able to use a computer, the fastest way to apply is to go directly to the SSI website. The website will be able to provide you with the required forms. However, if you’re disabled or simply unable to get access to a computer, you may also call 1-800-772-1213 and schedule a meeting with a Social Security Administration representative. They will be able to accommodate any disabilities you have and guide you through the application process. Of course, your local Social Security office is also available at your disposal.
When you should start applying
The simple fact is that the faster you move with the application process, the faster you may get your benefits. However, there are certain things that people should keep in mind. For example, if you place a call and schedule a meeting to apply, you should not delay that meeting. The reason for that is because the SSI will see that call as the beginning of your application filing date, which tends to only extend for 60 days.
What are your rights?
Like many government programs, it can be quite complicated to get the application process right. That is why you have the right to ask for help at any point in the process, from finding the proper forms to getting those forms filled out properly.
If you are denied benefits, there is an appeals process. However, it is highly recommended to obtain legal help as you do not want to continue to obtain rejection letter after rejection letter. An attorney may be able to provide you with the guidance needed to do it right the first time.