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You Can Start Your Application Online
To start an SSI application online, visit the Social Security Administration’s website ssa.gov. Click on the SSI tab and the website will give you step-by-step instructions on how to apply for SSI Disability.
You can start the application online by completing the online Disability Report for an Adult or the online Disability Report for a Child. However, you must make an appointment with the Social Security Administration—called the SSA for short—to complete the base SSI disability application form.
Although you can start your SSI application online, you do not have to. You can start your application with visit a Social Security office or by calling 1-800-378-1213 for an appointment. Allow plenty of time for this call because it is likely that you will be on hold for a long time before reaching a representative.
Information Needed to Complete an Adult SSI Disability Report
You will need the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the medical providers who have evaluated or treated you for your disabling conditions and a list of your medications. You will also need the date you believe you became disabled and a list of the places you have worked in the past fifteen years. Be thinking about what your work duties were at each employer and the physical and mental requirements of the jobs because you will need to describe these on the report.
Information Needed to Complete a Child’s SSI Disability Report
If you are applying for a child, the online Child Disability Kit can be quite helpful in completing the Disability Report. The kit includes a worksheet that lists additional information needed for an SSI application for children. Some of the additional information needed for a child’s SSI application is a copy of any Individualized Family Service Plan or the Individualized Education Program Plan your child may have. The report will also ask for the names of your child’s school, school teacher, and school speech therapist or occupational therapist and information about school testing.
Information Needed to Finish Your SSI Application
When you have your appointment to finish applying for SSI, you will need to provide financial information about yourself and about a spouse you live with. In the case of a child applicant, you will be asked about the income and resources of the child’s parents and stepparents who live with the child and the child’s parent. This information is requested so that the SSA can determine whether your or your child’s countable income and countable resources are within the limits for SSI eligibility. Some of the income and some of the assets may be excluded from counting against the SSI limits, but it is important to declare all of them.
Our article “Why Do I Have to Give Information about My Family’s Income and Assets When I Apply for SSI Benefits?” gives an overview of why family income and assets are considered. The article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect SSI Payment Amount and Qualifying for SSI Disability?” goes into more detail countable family income and resources and “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” provides examples of how parents’ income and assets affect a child’s application.
You will also need to provide information about your or your child’s living arrangements so that Social Security can determine whether you are in a living arrangement that allows SSI payment and whether you are receiving in-kind support and maintenance from persons in the household who are not your spouse or the child’s parent. For a discussion of how living arrangements relate to your SSI application, please visit our article “Why Do I Have to Say Who Lives with Me and Who Pays the Household Bills When I Am Applying for SSI Disability?“
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