Social Security SSI

180px-Social-Security-cardApplying for Social Security Disability can seem overwhelming at times. There are medical forms to fill out, health questions to answer and many other things to keep track of. Make a list of everything you need, and of the doctors that you have to contact. Check these items off the list as you gather them. Do not get overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Get a folder to put the information in so it will not get lost. A good idea is to make a copy for yourself of everything you have in case the original gets misplaced along the way. The information in this article only applies to the United States.


  • Social security is a gigantic bureaucracy. Its employees often don’t have time to care about you personally. They handle a lot of cases and talk to a lot of people in the course of a day. Be sure to take down their names and when you talked to them and record your impression of the discussions.
  • Be sure to promptly fill out and return any forms sent to you.
  • According to the law, social security must’ consider your doctor’s medical record and opinion before they send you to their doctor.
  • Make sure to have money for parking!
  • Consider asking a friend or relative to write a letter with your application specifically describing your disabilities. This often helps in the determination phase.
  • If applying without a lawyer: Check out several books on disability. They will guide you through process more easily. There are also websites devoted just to supporting the disabled through the application process. Just remember, you do not necessarily have to pay for advice. Many non-profits provide free representations to disabled people trying to get onto social security.


  • If you are denied, you have 60 days to appeal.
  • This is a long process. In many cases, it can take as long as 18 to 24 months to have your appeal heard. Some have to appeal or reapply even then. Have alternative means to live off.
  • Make sure you take your social security card with you!

Things You’ll Need

  • SS number
  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Passport
  • Bank statement
  • current utility bill
  • Birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Dependents’ dates of birth, place of birth, and Social Security number
  • If married, partner’s date of birth, place of birth and social security number
  • Parent’s date of birth, birth place and social security numbers
  • Exact dates, including dates illness began; dates you went to a doctor; dates you had test; hospitalization dates
  • Complete work history. Know the dates (at least a year and approximately how long you worked at that place of employment)
  • Tax forms (w-2)
  • Bank account number and routing number – have these available
  • Schooling information can be relevant
  • Doctors’ names and addresses – have these available
  • All financial and income information

Sources and Citations

October 15, 2009

Payments to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will not increase in 2010, marking the first time since 1975 that payments will not automatically rise, Social Security Administration officials said Thursday.

By law, Social Security benefits are required to automatically increase with inflation in what’s termed the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). But inflation decreased this year, so benefits will remain steady, making 2010 the first year since COLA was put into effect in 1975 that benefits will not rise.

Accordingly, the maximum monthly payment an individual on SSI can receive is $674, while couples can claim up to $1,011 monthly.

In anticipation of this announcement, President Barack Obama asked Congress on Wednesday to provide seniors and people with disabilities a one-time $250 economic recovery payment in 2010. If approved, these payments would mimic a similar one-time payment provided to recipients of Social Security, SSI and a handful of other government benefit programs earlier this year.

“Social Security is doing its job helping Americans maintain their standard of living,” Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said in a statement Thursday. “Last year when consumer prices spiked, largely as a result of higher gas prices, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent COLA, the largest increase since 1982. This year, in light of the human need, we need to support President Obama’s call for us to make another $250 recovery payment for 57 million Americans.”

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