Is there a way to apply for SSI before my anticipated release from an institution?
The prerelease procedure allows you to apply for supplemental security income (SSI) and food stamps several months before your anticipated release from an institution so that benefits can begin quickly after your release. We do not pay you SSI benefits when you reside in a public institution.
Who can benefit from the prerelease procedure?
We will process an application for you under the prerelease procedure if you:
are in an institution (for example, hospital, nursing home, prison, or jail) ; and
appear likely to meet the criteria for SSI eligibility when you are released from the institution; and
are scheduled to be released within several months of the date you file your application for SSI.
How does the prerelease procedure work?
There may be a prerelease agreement in effect between the institution and your local Social Security office. However, you may file an application for SSI benefits under the prerelease procedure even if there is no agreement in effect.
A prerelease agreement may be formal (a written agreement signed by both parties) or informal. Under the agreement, Social Security helps the institution’s staff learn the prerelease procedure and provides them with a Social Security contact to assist with the prerelease procedure.
The institution agrees to:
notify us if you appear likely to meet the criteria for SSI and you could be released within 30 days after notification of potential SSI eligibility;
provide current medical evidence and nonmedical information needed to process your claim;
provide your anticipated release date and notify us of any delays that may result in a later release date; and
notify us when you are released.
process your claim or reinstatement as quickly as possible; and
with your permission, notify the institution of the SSI determination promptly.
THIS INFORMATION IS GENERAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1–800–772–1213 (TTY 1–800–325–0778),
VISIT OUR WEBSITE (www.socialsecurity.govwww.socialsecurity.gov) ON THE INTERNET,
OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE.