Applying for SSI Tips – Social Security for Disabled

Social security card and American money dollar bills

This process begins at age 18 however it is best to start gathering the medical information as early as you can and keep updated. 

Most Important!  Gather all the medical information relating to the disability in a document to hand to the processor.

This should include: Doctors, hospital visits, testing, therapies, etc.

On each item above include:

1. Date first seen and date last seen by doctor, hospital, or facility.
2. Doctor and facility name, address and phone number.

** By having this document prepared for them you will reduce your time drastically from roughly 3 hours interview with your child to about 1.5 hours. This does not include wait time for interview. Without this document you will be asked for all this information verbally.

Bring copies of IEP, psychological evaluation, medical documents that support disability determination, and other documents supporting disability. They can make copies of it or you can provide them a copy.

On the medical document it would help to put your monthly rent/mortgage payment and the number of people living in your home. Have the number of people be those you are responsible for legally. This will be asked.

The amount given to the requestor will be the mortgage/rent payment divided by the number of people living in the house regardless if they pay rent or not. The processor will add a figure for utilities and some expenses when calculating the monthly SSI check.

SSI does not cover clothing, entertainment, medical, etc. It is only room and board.

The processor will ask if the person requesting SSI is paying rent already or owes money for paying rent. However, the processor told us that a rental agreement would have to be supplied after my son was receiving money to be able to pay rent. Once SSI was approved then I could send in a rental agreement (room and board) to have the check amount recalculated.

At anytime the living situation changes, that information must be sent in.

The person applying for SSI must be in attendance at the SSI office interview. Bring things to do that are soothing and entertaining. It will be a long time.

For those in Gwinnett County, it is best to go to Winder SSI office or one that is not busy in a remote area. Norcross is very difficult to get parking and a very long line of people. This is a federal program so it is not county specific.

No appointments are made. For best wait time, arrive an hour before opening as a line will already have started. Once the door is opened, everyone will proceed in for a number. Take a seat and listen for your number to be called and what cubicle is called for your interview. Bring a chair and be prepared for the weather if you go before opening.

SSI does birthdate by month. Corey’s 10/10 birthdate was processed as 11/1. I went in on 10/13 and they held his information till 11/1 to process so he wasn’t “under” 18. If you go before age 18 the requestor’s parents income will be included in the decision. If you go after 18 it will not be included.

SSI approval can take 4-6 weeks to process. However, from the Winder office 3 of us received approval within 2 weeks. The first check arrived 12/1 for Corey who was processed on 11/1.

NOTE: In our SSI application interview it was not suggested to have a separate checking account for Corey’s SSI check to be deposited. In fact, the attorney pro bono for guardianship said not to have a checking account. But Corey did need a checking account for SSI deposits so that when SSI did the automatic electronic reviews they found less than $2000 in the account. If it goes into the parent account upon review there could be more than $2000 and SSI is lost automatically. Then you have to reapply again. Also you do not need a conservatorship for this custodial checking account.