What Happens during the SSI or SSDI Approval Process?

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), also administered by the SSA, offers monthly payments to people under the age of 65 who have qualifying disabilities and sufficient work credits.

What is the Difference between SSI and SSDI?

SSI is based on financial needs, whereas SSDI is awarded to those who are insured. While SSDI requires an applicant to have a sufficient number work credits, SSI is available to low income individuals or those who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. SSI is needs based, and SSDI is funded through payroll taxes.

Application and Approval Process

You can apply online, over the phone, or by visiting a local Social Security office. A representative from the Social Security office will interview you. If you are applying for SSDI, the representative will determine if you are eligible for benefits under the SSA’s definition of disability. This decision process can take three to five months.

Phone Interview

Phone interviews are often used in the approval process for both SSI and SSDI and may be the best option for many applicants. A representative from the SSA will call at a predetermined time on a predetermined day to ask you questions regarding your application. Specifically, the interviewer will ask about your finances, marriages, other people living in your home, resources and savings, income, gifts, and household bills.

For phone interviews, it is helpful to have a charged phone and to keep all necessary information readily available. The actual interview lasts about an hour and is purely for information gathering. In other words, a decision will not be made during a phone interview.

Ask a Qualified Attorney about the SSI or SSDI Approval Process

An SSDI or SSI lawyer can help you file the right application that fits your lifestyle. Our team can provide advice, guidance, and insight during the application process. The SSDI and SSI approval process can be lengthy and complex, and the Khaki Law Firm can help simplify it. We specialize in Social Security law, so having an attorney that knows the ins and outs of filing for benefits can help you avoid a denial and get the benefits you’re entitled to.


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