How do I Apply for Disability Benefits?

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Image of money and social security card

Social Security Disability benefits are meant to be a financial safety net to catch people who have fallen on hard times due to an injury or illness. Yet, for so many people, the net fails because they did not understand the application process or missed the smallest detail. If you will need the benefits of Social Security soon, then you should start by learning some basic information about the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and supplemental security income (SSI), as well as how to correctly apply for your benefits.

What are SSI & Social Security Disability Benefits?

Supplemental Security Income benefits are designed to help elderly, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income to meet their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. SSI is one of the most common forms of benefits given to applicants by the SSA. Other forms of benefits can help pay for medical needs regardless of the applicant’s reported income or earning capabilities.

Who Qualifies for SSI Disability Benefits?

The SSI program pays benefits to disabled applicants who have limited income and resources. Disability benefits are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. People who have worked long enough can also receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits in addition to SSI.

Learn more by browsing official resources from the SSA:

Do You Need a Disability to Qualify for Benefits?

No, you do not need to have a disability to qualify for benefits provided by the Social Security Administration and its programs. SSI benefits, in particular, are payable to anyone age 65 and older without disabilities but who also meet certain criteria and financial limits.

How to Apply for SSI Disability Benefits

You have probably seen advertisements that make it seem like you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online for a small fee. Please be cautious if you are thinking of using such an online application. The SSA has warned that SSI Disability applications should be completed with the assistance of an official representative. Completing the form otherwise could be nothing more than a paid “practice run.”

From the Social Security Administration’s Disability Benefits website:

“Most of the forms to apply for SSI are not designed for self-completion…a claims representative interviews you and uses a computer to complete the forms with information you give to us…”

When to Apply for SSI Disability Benefits

If you’re reading this article and think you may qualify for benefits, apply today. The sooner you can apply for benefits, the better. There might be statutes of limitations unique to your situation that could cause you to become ineligible for certain benefits if you wait too long to file an application. Any funds left unclaimed because you did not apply soon enough are effectively lost forever. Do not let hesitation cost you valuable government-provided benefits.

what if im denied disability benefits

What If I’m Denied SSI Disability Benefits?

Disability benefits denials are frustrating and can be disheartening. Many people lose hope the moment they open an SSA-stamped envelope and see a denial letter inside instead of an approval letter. Rather than exploring new and additional options, they are often tempted to just give up.

Please do not tear up a denial letter and convince yourself that you cannot get SSI and other disability benefits. There are law firms out there with a dedicated focus on appealing wrongfully denied SSI applications and claims. With the help of an experienced legal professional, you might be able to successfully appeal the denial and start getting much-needed benefits sooner than you thought possible.

Keep two points in mind about appeals to the SSA:

  • You have only a limited amount of time to initiate your appeal.
  • If you’ve been denied or have a hearing currently scheduled, you can bring legal representation with you.

At Justice Law Office in Louisville, Kentucky, we believe that society and the government have an obligation to take care of people who cannot reasonably provide for themselves and their loved ones. We are proud to offer comprehensive and compassionate legal services to people from all walks of life. Call (502) 822-2230 to request your free SSI disability benefits consultation. You’ve got enough on your plate right now and we’re ready to help you get the benefits you deserve and need.