Exceptional Lives Team
April 28, 2021

The Application Process for Getting SSI

Are you or your family member eligible for SSI (Supplemental Security Income)? This is determined by a person’s age, disability and financial resources. If you think you or your child qualify, this is generally how the process goes:


Do you or your family member qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income)? Getting SSI depends on a person’s age, disability and financial resources. (To learn more about who qualifies, you can click here)

If you think you or child qualify, this is generally how the process goes: 

1. You will submit an SSI application to your local Social Security office.

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  • The application has two parts – the first is an online form, and the second is an interview that you must do in person or on the phone. (During the pandemic, you will have to do this by phone unless there is an urgent need to be in person.)

  • There are different forms depending on age. For children 17 and under, use the Child Disability Report. For those 18 and older, use the Adult Disability Report

  • See here for tips on the interview for a child, and for an adult.

2. The Social Security Office will check non-medical eligibility.

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They may ask questions about your family member’s age, employment, marital status, citizenship, income, resources and housing.

3. Your case gets sent to a Disability Determination Services office.

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They will look at medical records to see if your family member meets the guidelines.

4. The Disability Determination office makes a decision about your case.

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If they decide that your family member is disabled, they will tell the Social Security office, who will tell you.

We go through this process in detail in our free SSI Guide. We can help you see if you’re likely to qualify, and we’ll link you directly to the forms you need.


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