How Do You Apply for SSI Payments?


Individuals apply for Supplemental Security Income payments by calling the Social Security SSI benefits number and making an appointment with a representative to apply on the phone or in person. Applicants or their representatives must complete the proper forms and provide documents to prove eligibility.

To be eligible for SSI, individuals must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens with limited income and resources who are blind, disabled or age 65 or over. An eligible disability is serious enough to prevent the applicant from performing substantial gainful activity and has a duration of at least 12 months or is expected to result in death. Eligible statutory blindness involves eyesight of 20/200 or less with corrective lenses in the better eye or a severe visual field limitation.

Countable income for SSI applicants includes wages from employment, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, gifts from friends or relatives, and free food and shelter. Income that does not count includes food stamps, income tax returns, grants and scholarships for education, food or shelter donated by charitable organizations, and local or state government assistance. The maximum monthly income limits for a wage-earning individual are $1,551, and for a non-wage-earning individual, it is $753 as of 2015.

Resources counted for SSI eligibility include cash, bank accounts, land, extra vehicles and other personal property. Resources not counted include a house the applicant lives in, household items, a first vehicle, and burial plots and funds. The limit to the value of resources for an individual is $2,000.