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Four common mistakes made in SSI applications – how to avoid them to get payments… – The US Sun

THROUGH Supplemental Security Income (SSI), low-income and disabled Americans can get financial aid to help cover essential costs.
The program, which is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), supports more than eight million people each year.
Specifically, SSI benefits Americans who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled and living with limited income and resources.
Disabled or blind children can also receive SSI benefits.
How much you can get depends on your individual circumstances, but the maximum monthly amount for 2022 is $841 per month for individuals.
Couples can receive up to $1,261 a month.
The average beneficiary receives $621, or $7,452 over the year.
To qualify, individuals can't have more than $2,000 in assets, while couples can have up to $3,000.
You can check if you qualify for SSI by using the SSA's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.
If you plan to apply for SSI, be wary of these mistakes that could potentially prevent or delay you from receiving payments you're entitled to.
If you believe you qualify for SSI, you should apply as soon as possible.
The SSA does not offer benefits for any time prior to your application date, even if you've been disabled or blind for years.
Although times vary from person to person, applications take about three to five months to fully process, according to the National Council on Aging.
The SSA will pay your benefits for the months you waited for a decision, but not for any period earlier than that.
If you're in need of financial support but unsure if you qualify, apply immediately – there are no restrictions on who can apply and no fee to file.
You'll receive your backpay in installations covering the time between application and acceptance.
The SSA does not accept applications from people currently in public institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, or jails, unless you follow prerelease procedures.
In short, submitting a prerelease application can help ensure you get the benefits you need as soon as you're released from the institution you're in.
Note that disabled youth in foster care will become eligible for SSI payments when they turn 18, but may apply 180 days in advance.
To assess an applicant's eligibility, the SSA may ask for a wide range of supporting documents.
To ensure your application can be submitted and processed as quickly as possible, you should be ready to provide the following documents:
The SSA also has a long list of questions you may be asked during the application process.
It's critical that you provide as much information as you can, as honestly as possible, particularly if you're applying on the grounds of blindness or disability.
Your application will be reviewed with the information you provided to see if you qualify for benefits, and you can end up hurting yourself by not sharing a complete picture with the SSA.
You can also appoint a representative to help you collect and share info with the SSA.
Once you start receiving SSI benefits, you need to report life changes to the SSA in a timely manner, or your payments could be jeopardized or diminished.
Although this is not part of the initial application process, it's a critical aspect of ensuring you receive benefits continually.
Changes you'll need to report include:
If you're disabled, you'll also need to report any changes in your condition or work status.
The SSA recommends reporting changes as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after the last day of the month the change occurred.
So if you moved in April, you need to let the SSA know by May 10.
If you fail to report qualifying changes, the SSA may apply penalties from $25 to $100 to your benefit.
The SSA can also withhold your payments for up to 24 months if you fail to report or knowingly make false statements.
If your application for SSI is denied, you have the right to appeal that decision in most cases.
However, the majority of applicants who are denied do not appeal, either because they don't think it's worthwhile or don't know they can.
The SSA will contact you after you apply with an "initial determination," notifying you if you qualify or not.
If you disagree with the determination, you can request a reconsideration on medical or non-medical grounds.
Since 1988, between 8% and 16% of people who request reconsiderations each year ultimately win their claim and receive benefits, according to SSA data.
While that number is not astronomical, it shows that the initial determination is not final, and you can still press for benefits.
While the appeal process can be drawn out, it's worth the fight if you believe you qualify.
If your application is denied and you apply again, that new application sets the date of your effective benefit.
On the other hand, winning an appeal can land you months or years of backpay that accumulated while your application was pending.
If you plan to apply for SSI, you can begin the application process and complete a large part of the application on the SSA website.
You can also call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to ask for an appointment with a Social Security representative.
To claim, you'll need to bring a number of documents with you.
These include your Social Security number, birth certificate, information about your home, payroll slips and other documents about your income.
If you're applying because you are blind or disabled, you must also provide details of the hospitals and clinics you've been to.
Should you be accepted to receive SSI, you'll receive the cash electronically.

The Sun explains the rules around garnishing SSI payments.
Also, we explain why it makes sense to start claiming Social Security at 70.
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?
Email us at exclusive@the-sun.com or call 212 416 4552.
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