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How To Apply For SSI

Doctor assisting elderly man with paperwork.

This page provides a general guideline on how to apply for SSI. For disabled or blind children under the age of 18, their parents or legal guardians usually can apply for them. In some cases, other third parties can apply for children.

Below is a list of items and or documents you need to bring with you when applying for the Supplemental Security Income program in your state. If you cannot provide all of these items it is still recommended you apply anyway, the Social Security office you are applying at can assist you in getting the remaining information.


It is highly recommended to setup direct deposit if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Using direct deposit is considered safe because it protects your benefits from theft, delay in mail delivery, it arrives on time and the funds would be available right away without having to drive to the bank. In order to setup direct deposit to receive your SSI payments, you need to bring your checkbook or other papers that show your bank, credit union or savings and loan account number.


SSI For The Disabled Or Blind

There are special rules in place that may allow you to keep getting SSI payments while you currently work. When you make more money your SSI benefits may be reduced or stopped altogether, but you may still be able to receive Medicaid coverage. If you decide to set aside money for things like going to school or a work goal, this money will not reduce the amount of your Supplemental Security Income payment. People who are receiving SSI payments may be eligible for SSDI payments also, but there are several differences in the SSI and SSDI benefits and applications. If you are applying for SSI and are blind or disabled, you may also qualify to receive free special services to help work, which may include services such as counseling, job training and assistance in finding work. To get more information, Working While Disabled How they Can Help (Publication No. 05-10095).


Check Status Of SSI Application

If you applied for benefits, you can check the Status of Your Application online. Your application status shows:


You cannot check the status of an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits online. If you are unable to check your status online, you can:


SSI Appeal Process

You have the right to appeal the decision on your SSI claim if you disagree with the outcome. For further information on the steps you can take on this, including the right to be represented by an attorney or other qualified person of your choice, Your Right To Question A Decision Made On Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim (Publication No. 05-11008). When applying for SSI you can complete a large part of your application by visiting their site at, or call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 so you can setup an appointment with a Social Security representative.

Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Elliot has spent years providing clear and concise information to help navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.