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|Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Understanding Supplemental Security Income
HOW TO APPLY FOR SSI BENEFITS
You can apply for SSI benefits by:
You will have to file an application.
Most of the forms to apply for SSI benefits are not designed for self–completion. Our claims representative interviews you and uses a personal computer to complete the forms with information you give to us or someone else gives to us on your behalf.
WHEN TO APPLY
Apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. We cannot pay benefits for time periods earlier than your application effective date.
If you call us to make an appointment to apply and you file an application within 60 days of the call, we may use the date of your call as your application filing date.
If you do not keep this appointment and you do not contact us to reschedule the appointment, we will try to contact you. If we do not get in touch with you to reschedule the appointment, we will send you a letter. The letter will say that if you file an application within 60 days from the date of the letter, we will use the date of your original contact with us as your SSI application date.
If you are in a public institution, but you will be leaving within a few months, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits until you leave. You may, however, be able to apply before you leave so that SSI benefits can begin quickly after you leave. Check with the institution and us about filing an application under the "prerelease procedures."
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPLY
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE HELP FROM
|For information on when we pay for travel to medical exams, see our SSI Spotlight on Payment for Travel to Medical Exams or Tests.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO A REPRESENTATIVE
You may appoint someone to help you with your SSI claim and go with you to your appointment(s) with us.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO A NOTICE
We will notify you in writing of any determination about your eligibility or any change in your benefit amount. We will also send copies of all notices to your representative if you have one. Each notice affecting your eligibility or change in SSI benefit amount will explain your appeal rights.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXAMINE YOUR FILE
You or your representative may examine and get a copy of the information in your case file, upon request, with the exception of files containing confidential or medical information that may not be disclosed. You or your representative also may review and copy the laws, regulations and policy statements used in deciding your case.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL
You may appeal most determinations we make about your eligibility for SSI benefits, or changes we make in your benefit amount.
Our administrative appeals process has three levels.
|THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.