When people discuss certain government programs, they often refer simply to being on “disability” or “Social Security.” However, the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees numerous different programs that are all governed by different federal statutes and regulations, and may also be implemented through state-based government agencies. This is true of the two major benefits programs the SSA administers in Georgia for those who have a disability that precludes them from working. The first of these is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the second is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The major difference in these two programs is that SSDI is meant to help those who have worked and paid into the disability insurance trust through income withholding, while SSI is needs-based, meant for those who have little or no income or assets.

Because the programs have different goals, the applications for each will also differ. The remainder of this post will look at what information the SSA is likely to require for an applicant applying for SSI. Obviously, basic personal information will be common to both applications, such as the applicant’s name, address and Social Security Number.

For SSI applications, however, the SSA will also need to know what the applicant’s income is, as well as a list of assets he or she may own, such as a house, car or investments. The applicant will also have to disclose his or her living arrangements, and if married, the income and assets of his or her spouse. Immigration status, if the applicant is not a U.S. Citizen, will also have to be shown. Finally, if the application is based upon a disability, the applicant will have to provide evidence of a qualifying physical or mental condition.

Georgia residents who are in a situation where SSI is necessary may not have the resources to handle all these requirements themselves. Those with questions about the process of applying for SSI may want to speak with an experienced disability lawyer.