Guest Bloggers, SSI, Supporting Our Most Vulnerable

SSI Helps Our Most Vulnerable

May 13, 2021 • By

Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Kate LangThe COVID-19 pandemic has forced Social Security to limit in-person appointments to critical situations only. This led to a sharp decrease in the number of people applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. SSI provides monthly payments to people with low income and few resources who can no longer work due to age or disability.

Many of these individuals—especially older adults and those with limited English proficiency—rely on in-person meetings to get the help they need. Social Security stands ready to assist these groups with online and telephone services. Older adults wanting to apply for SSI payments must call the national 800 number (800-772-1213).  Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call TTY 800-325-0778. Anyone can contact a local Social Security office to request an appointment. Social Security also provides free interpreter services in more than 150 languages.

At the end of 2020, Social Security began an outreach program for people currently receiving Social Security benefits who could potentially be eligible for additional payments through SSI. These individuals receive letters from Social Security to notify them of their potential eligibility. The letter provides a phone number people can call for possible SSI eligibility screening.

Social Security has also recently released on its web page additional Information for People Helping Others to apply for SSI or disability benefits. With these resources, more representatives from non-profits, health care organizations, and state and local governments can work with Social Security to serve those in need during these unprecedented times.

Social Security’s posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization or author.


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  1. LJ

    How do I have an appointment

    Reply
    • Diana Varela

      Hello, and thank you for using our blog. You may call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator.

      Reply
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  4. Dennette Williams

    I was treated so unfairly at my hearings in macon ga the 1st one was with Catherine Harper who refuse to acknowledge my Doctor notes and the tests ,surgery, 2nd hearing Cam oetter and 3rd Russell Lewis. These last two judges did exactly like catherine did not care each time i was remanded and each time they twisted my medical file (these 3 judges need to be investgated as to how many. African Americans have been wrongly denied by them).my condition has gotten worst and my medical is expensive i havent worked since 2006 work credits expired dealing with these 3 judges.

    Reply
    • Diana Varela

      Hi Dennette, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear your disability hearing did not go the way you hoped. If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask the Appeals Council to review your case within 60 days of receiving the decision from the Administrative Law Judge. If you need help requesting a review, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, you may be eligible to receive services from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. These services include Medicaid, meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. We hope this information is helpful.

      Reply
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  6. Sherry A Smith

    I am 60 years old I need financially help was denie ssi why cant I get help?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Sherry, thanks for using our blog. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for the many programs and services available in your state. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
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  8. Leah Naomi Gonzales

    I am a 44 yr old homeless disabled mother with a young child. Some of my disabilities are health related some are from extreme domestic violence. When I first applied for ssdi, I had enough work credits. I was denied for the next few years. By the time a judge approved me, I no longer had enough eligible work credits. I was one short. The judge fully approved me and even allowed for me to later submit missing medical records that would put my onset date further back. Putting me correctly in the rate time frame for usable credits of work.. That was in 2016.
    Fast forward to today.. my ssi (di) benefits have been stopped. Originally it was because they didn’t keep records of me reporting donations I recieved during the pandemic.. which I reported.. they said I had to fax verifications of that income and current balance by March. I was sick and was late in doing so.. they stopped my benefits in March. Then they claimed they never recieved two separate faxes sent in March and April. I filed a reconsideration because of those missing faxes and them keeping my benefits cut off and telling me I would have to REAPPLY.
    Then they magically found the missing faxes.. but still didn’t restart benefits.. because now they claimed I was overpaid from March 2020 til March 2021 due to having to many resources and not reporting them.. the exactopposite of true. Not only had I reported it I had been told not to worry about and that they wouldn’t be counted against me.
    They’d top payments for paperwork then keep them stopped by claiming they never got that paperwork then when they’re forced to find the missing paperwork, they assess a huge overpayment.
    Whether or not ssa wants to admit it to themselves all of this is hugely wrong.
    Why? Several reasons.
    1. What you’re doing to me, you are also doing to countless other taxpaying American citizens.who funded this social security program and all of your jobs.
    Myself included.
    2. Keeping a truly disabled woman from receiving real ssdi and Medicare by prolonging case approval for years is a crime. That delay left me 1 work credit short of eligibility for ssdi.
    3. It also kept me stuck with medicaid. Which doesn’t fit my very real medical needs.
    Like surgeries and specialists. Not run of the mill generalized inefficient Healthcare.
    I go more blind every day because of these actions by ssa.
    Something that could be halted or delayed if I had MEDICARE AND COULD SEE REAL SURGEONS.
    or the hernia I have that has expanded to push up into my lungs. An eight year old hernia. Same age as my child. Because the hernia was caused by the surgeon who forced me into an emergency c-section. When he was born.
    Because I’m on medicaid and it doesn’t pay as well.
    Back to the current issue.
    Now I have no benefits. I’m being assessed an overpayment that is unjust and hugely incorrectly applied. I’m on the streets with my child. Disabled.
    You guys are threatening to take MONEY I DONT HAVE TO GIVE YOU.
    What’s next? Will you then assess overpayments to me because I’m his payee for the benefits he recieves from his very recently killed father who was on ssdi?
    And whether you do or don’t. Will this then allow, say, the IRS to come along and likewise assess me penalties and overdue taxes for the resources you all claim i shouldntve had.
    And last but not least, what right does Social Security have to decide donations are anything they should be touching or using to cut benefits off and charge huge debts based on?
    Specifically when those donations were given because the system was failing to help a disabled mother and child during a health pandemic and statewide firestorms.
    The last thing social security should be doing is punishing us. Or anyone else in the same boat.
    Remember when I said you are doing this to countless other taxpayers citizens?
    What right do you have and what justifies this assault on all of us?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Leah, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We are very sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  9. Alana Pearson

    After 11/2 years i was approved for SSI. My family helped during my non employment time with rent & bills & shared or made food. Take care of my home etc.
    I have both mental and physical problems.
    The office in my home town was holding my case for a few months? When i called the state i finally received a call she immediately wanted questions answered. My family were only helping during my time of needing help and waiting on my ssi or disability. My pcp of 22 had disabled be 2 years ago.
    My issue is that they used the “help” from my family as an “income”? I told her as did my family This is only until she or I get my SSI. these are my children & brother they cannot afford to do this anylonger, they maxed me and cut my income less than almost 300 leaving me with less than enough for anyone to live on. it wont even make my rent. And i cannot afford to move. I have repeatedly called her immediately within theallowed time and nothing. no phone calls back nor answers from her. Please help

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Alana, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  10. /barbara bernard

    my son is disabled is age 69. i am his mother and we live together in a condo. when i die will he be able to inherit my condo. this is my only property and i want him to have a place to live the rest of his life. there is no mortgage, only a small maitenence fee. thank-you

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Barbara, thanks for using our blog. If your son is receiving Social Security benefits, the amount of money in his investments and savings does not affect his benefit. However, if your son is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a change in household income and assets can affect benefits. This is because the amount of an SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits.

      If you have additional questions, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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