SSI Application Difficulties – How to Start

Starting an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is often extremely difficult and time consuming.  This is primarily because the agency does not have an online SSI application option and must be processed by your local Social Security office.  Sadly, local Social Security offices are completely overworked, understaffed and experience a tremendous amount of turnover.  Timely processing of your SSI application is dependent upon SSA staffing availability.

When a person is applying only for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the best method is to set an appointment with the SSA to take the application.  This can either be on the phone or in person.  Using this method, the agency will actually type your information into the system during the application, thus ensuring the process is started.  The major downside to this method is that the SSA will often not have appointments available for months, or even at all.  If no appointments, the agency will promise to call you when available.  However, this will often not occur, and therefore you should continue to call every 30 days.  To make an appointment for the SSI application, call the national SSA number:  1-800-772-1213

Another option is to complete and submit the paper SSI application.  Our office frequently utilizes this method in tandem with the phone application.  The paper application will obtain all information required for the SSA to start the SSI process.  However, as noted above, the local SSA office will still need to take the paper application, and manually create an electronic application.  This requires availability of SSA workers, which again, is in severe shortage.  The advantage of this method is we can often submit the application quicker than an SSI application directly with the SSA.

I recommend calling our office to discuss the best method of starting an application for SSI based on your circumstances.  Call now at 720-515-9012 or email directly at