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How Can I Apply for Supplemental Security Income?

If you wish to submit an application for Supplemental Security Income, you can speed up the application process by completing a considerable chunk of your application online. You may also contact the Social Security Administration at their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment to meet with a Social Security representative.

If you are a disabled adult looking to apply for both SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance, you may apply online for both benefits simultaneously if you meet the following conditions:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 65;
  • Have never been married;
  • Aren’t blind;
  • Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands; and
  • Haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past.

If you’re unable to apply for SSI online, you can instead contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment, either in person or via telephone, with a Social Security representative.  Parents or guardians typically can apply for blind or disabled children under age 18. In certain situations, some third parties can apply for children.

It’s recommended you have the necessary documents when you go to submit an application. Regardless if you don’t have everything at hand, it’s best to apply anyway. The SSA can help acquire anything you need. Necessary documents include:

  • Your Social Security card or a record of your Social Security number;
  • Your birth certificate or other proof of your age;
  • Information about the home where you reside, such as your mortgage or your lease and landlord’s name;
  • Payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, burial fund records, and other information about your income and the things you own;
  • The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics that you have been to, if you are applying for SSI because you are disabled or blind;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status; and
  • Your checkbook or other papers that show your bank, credit union, or savings and loan account number

If your application is approved for SSI, you have to get your benefits electronically. The SSA provides benefits through direct deposit, the Direct Express® card program, or an Electronic Transfer Account.

A note for people who are blind or disabled

If you are blind or disabled, and currently working, there are certain rules in place to assist you. It is possible to receive SSI benefits while you’re employed. As your earnings increase, your SSI payments will be reduced or stopped proportionately, but you may able to maintain your Medicaid coverage. You could also save some money on the side for a work goal or to attend school. In this situation, the money you put aside will not reduce your SSI benefits. Blind or disabled people who submit an application for SSI could get free special services to assist them while working. These services could be counseling, job training, or help finding a job.