The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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25 The People's Guide 2013-2014 SSI & CAPI Office can help them get whatever is needed. Your case will be sent to a state agency under contract with SSA to obtain your medical records and decide whether you meet the medical requirements for eligibility to benefits. In general, people who are blind or have very obvious dis- abilities are approved more quickly than those who must have their disabilities more extensively verified. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? Current and existing medical records need to be obtained in all cases where disability is an issue. In many cases, you will be given an appointment for a doctor chosen by the state to examine you. If the state decides that you are not disabled enough to get SSI, you can appeal. Those who appeal a decision that they are "not disabled enough" often win and are able to receive benefits. (See page 66 Hearings and Complaints) If necessary, you can apply for General Relief while you wait for SSI approval. If you ask, the county will help you get SSI while you are on General Relief. If you get a notice that you have been overpaid, and you believe it is not your fault, insist on immediately submitting a "Request for Waiver of Overpayment." If you believe that your SSI check or any notice that you get is wrong, insist on immediately submitting a "Request for Reconsideration." Legal aid and ad- vocacy organizations can help you best after you insist on these forms to protect your rights. Also, some Congressional district offices have free experts at Social Security Casework. Call yours and ask for help with a hearing or complaint. CAN I GET CAPI Cash Assistance Program for Im- migrants ("CAPI") is a cash benefit program for low-income people who are aged 65 and older, are blind, or who have a disability that meet the general eligibility requirements for SSI but are not eligible for SSI because of their immigration status. (See pg. 63 "Which Immigrants can get SSI and CAPI?") WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? 1. Maximum Aid Type of Person Max.Benefit Single person 65 or older $866 Disabled person 18 or over $866 Single blind person any age $921 Couple, both disabled or aged $1,462 Couple, both blind $1,609 Disabled person under 18 $773 One person living in a licensed Board & Care facility($121 for that person's private use) $1,122 Effective as of October 2012 Ammounts will change in 10/2013 Food: If you get SSI in California, you cannot get CalFresh/Food Stamps. How- ever, if you live where meals cannot be prepared you can get an additional $90 to $100 per month (ask for the Restau- rant Meals Allowance.) Health Care: If you receive SSI, you au- tomatically qualify for Medi-Cal without a share of cost. You may also be eligible for In-Home Supportive Services. (See page 53) Special Telephone Equipment: If your disability makes it difficult to use the phone you may qualify for special equip- ment to help. Call (800) 806-1191 (voice) or (800) 806-4474 (TTY line.) Rent and Household Expenses: Benefits will be lower if you live with someone else and do not pay your full share of household expenses. Homeless people receive the same cash aid as persons with homes, except that you can only get SSI 6 months out of 9 if living in a "public shelter". If you were getting free room and board when you applied for SSI and later begin paying your share for room and board, tell your worker so your benefits will increase. A single person can get a $1,122.00 (as of 2013) board & care rate called "Non-medical Out of Home Care," if you do not receive In Home Supportive Ser- vices, are not staying in your own home, and a relative who does not get SSI is providing you room, food, and personal care. The county must certify the private residence. You may be able to get a $400 immedi- ate payment from the Social Security office if either your SSI or your Social Security check is late and you need money right away. HOW DO I APPLY See page 26 Social Security Offices. Come in, or (800) 772-1213 to make an appointment. Even if the process from application to first check takes months, when you are approved the benefits will be paid beginning with when you started the application. Do not accept a verbal denial. Insist on filing at least a partial application. If you do not have all the necessary information, you can give additional or corrected informa- tion later. If you have difficulty with English or with hearing, the Social Security Office will provide you with an interpreter without cost. You may have help from a friend, family member or advocate at any appointment. If your condition makes getting to the office difficult, you may ask for a telephone interview. If you want to sign a form allowing someone else to serve as your represen- tative, ask by phone for form SSA-1696 to be mailed to you. Parents or guard- ians can apply for a child under age 18 who is blind or who has a disability. It's helpful to have the following infor- mation with you when applying: • Social Security card or record of number • Birth certificate or other proof of age • Information about the home of resi- dence, such as mortgage or lease and landlord's name • Payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, car registration, burial fund records and other information about income and resources • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of doctors hospitals and clinics that have treated them (if applying for SSI because of disabil- ity or blindness) • Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status. You should apply even if they don't have all the things listed. The Social Security

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