SSI Application

SSI Application Description

A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application is completed during the initial interview between the SSIMAP Advocate and participant. A series of required forms, making up an SSI application package, is completed by the participant and/or SSIMAP Advocate. The information provided describes the claimed disability, gives sources of medical records to document the disability, and allows the participant to explain how his/her claimed disability prevents him/her from working. The application package is sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) who will then send the disability portion to the State's Disability Determination Service (DDS) for a disability determination.

Key Points

  • An SSI application is completed for individuals who are screened as SSI eligible and who:
  • When interviewing the participant, an assessment/observation is made as to how the disability impacts the participant's day-to-day ability to function. Therefore, questions are posed in a way to solicit responses, which assist in this assessment/observation.
  • When completing the application forms, responses to questions should clearly document/convey the severity and duration of the claimed disability to ensure SSA's definition of disability is met (i.e., the disability will result in death or has lasted or will last for at least 12 months).  The protected filing date, if any, is written in the box on page one of the Application for Supplemental Security Income (SSA 8000) or Application for Supplemental Security Income (Short Form, SSA 8001).
  • Based on the information gathered, the SSIMAP Advocate will confirm all the dates and facilities in which the participant received medical treatment for the claimed disability.  With authorization from the participant, the SSIMAP Advocate will request medical records via the Record Retrieval Project.
  • To assist the participant throughout the SSI application process, the SSIMAP Advocate will ask the participant to sign the Appointment of Representative (SSA 1696) form designating the SSIMAP Advocate as his/her authorized representative.

Note: If the participant informs the SSIMAP Advocate that he/she has or will have other/self-representation during the SSI application stage, he/she is required to provide verification that an SSI application was filed and provide periodic updates on the status of his/her SSI application.

  • Assessments for service’s needs, referrals to appropriate medical facilities, and authorizations of transportation funds are made.
  • Following completion of the SSI application, the next steps are explained to the participant:
  • First, he/she will hear from SSA directly. SSA may send additional forms for completion, an appointment to see a doctor, or a decision on the SSI application. The participant needs to contact the SSIMAP Advocate when he/she is contacted by SSA.
  • Second, if the SSI application is denied, he/she is required to complete a request for an appeal.

         Note: As some participants may have previous work history, SSIMAP Advocates will also complete an Application for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)(SSA 16 – electronic) form. This allows the participant to increase their chances of approval for benefits as SSA will deny their SSI application if the participant is deemed to be disabled and has work history that makes him/her eligible for SSDI.

SSI Advocate Duties  

  • Completes all required SSI application forms, ensuring all required signatures have been obtained from the participant.
  • Explains the next steps to the participant, including his/her reporting responsibilities.
  • Ensures any protected SSI application date is recorded on page one of the SSA 8000 or SSA 8001.
  • Assesses any supportive services needs, making any appropriate referrals and/or authorizing any needed transportation funds for medical and/or SSI-related appointments.
  • Forwards the SSI application package to SSA (within 60 days of the initial interview), along with any medical records received, to SSA. As the SSDI application is submitted electronically, no additional paperwork is mailed for the SSDI application.
  • Records all participant contact and SSIMAP case activity on the electronic case record.
  • Updates the electronic case record with new or changed information and documents all actions taken.


Upon conclusion of the SSI application, the outcomes should include:  

  • The participant completed/signed the entire SSI application package (including the SSA 1696 and Record Retrieval authorization forms) understanding the next steps in the process and his/her reporting responsibilities.
  • Any needed supportive services referrals were made or transportation funds were issued.
  • The participant has the SSIMAP Advocate's name, file number, and telephone number.
  • The SSI application package was sent to SSA within 60 days of the application being signed. As the SSDI application is submitted electronically, no additional paperwork is mailed for the SSDI application.
  • The electronic case record has all participant contact and SSIMAP case activity recorded.


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