How to file for supplemental security income

How to Apply

You can apply for SSI in person, or:

  • Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to make an appointment; or
  • Contact your local Social Security office

You may complete the online Adult Disability Report or the Child Disability Report online to go along with your application.

A Social Security representative will interview you and complete the forms with information you give. You or your representative will have to sign the form. Parents or guardians can apply for a child under age 18.

If you need an interpreter to conduct Social Security business, we will supply one on request, free of charge. If you want us to supply the interpreter, please call us before you come to the office and tell us what language you prefer to speak.

When to Apply

You should apply for SSI as soon as possible. The date you contact us is the earliest date from which benefits can be paid.

What We Will Ask You

We will ask you about your income, the things you own (resources), your living arrangements (i.e., where you live, with whom, who pays for things, etc.) and your citizenship or alien status to decide whether you are eligible. If you are applying because you are disabled, we will also ask about your health problems and how they affect your daily activities and ability to work.

Direct Deposit is the preferred method for paying SSI benefits. We will ask you your bank account number so that we can arrange to have your benefits deposited directly into your account.

What to Bring with You to File

You may not need all of the documents below, but it can help if you have the following things when you apply. Even if you do not have all of the things listed below, apply anyway. We can help you get whatever is needed.

  • Social Security card or number.
  • Birth certificate or other proof of age.
  • Proof of citizenship or alien status (i.e., birth certificate showing U.S. place of birth, naturalization certificate, or Immigration and Naturalization Service form showing alien status).
  • Information about the home where you live, such as the mortgage or the lease and the landlord's name.
  • Proof of income such as payroll slips, tax returns, bank statements, award letters, or other records showing how much you receive, how often, and the source of the payment.
  • Proof of resources such as bank statements for all checking and savings accounts, deed for property you own besides the house that you live in, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, or bonds.
  • If you are applying because you have a disability, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals and clinics that have treated you, the dates of treatment and any patient identification numbers.

The National Center for Health Statistics Web Site maintains information about where to write for birth certificates and the cost.

How SSI Claims Are Processed

The Social Security Administration takes applications and evaluates evidence of identity, income, resources and other nonmedical factors of eligibility. We also determine if a representative payee is needed and, if so, appoint one.

For a person 65 or over, the Social Security Administration determines eligibility. If a medical determination of the claimant's disability is needed, it is made by the State disability determination service (DDS). The DDS reviews all medical evidence submitted and requests additional evidence if needed.