Part 2 - The interview (child)

To complete the SSI application, you must make an appointment and talk to an agent from the SSI office.

You can do this in person or by phone. They call it an appointment or interview.

Call ahead to schedule an appointment at a good time for you. Your child does not have to come with you for this interview.

  • Phone: call 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm Central time. They may be able to help you apply right away, or they may schedule a good time in the coming days for a Social Security representative to call you. If you are hearing impaired, call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.

  • Visit: If you'd prefer to apply in person, go to your local Social Security Office - find it here.

Feel free to use this handy checklist of things to bring to your appointment (pictured below):

Image of the first few lines of the SSA disability checklist.

For a great list of tips and what to expect at the appointment, click on the box below:

Tips for the Interview:

  • Print out the Disability Starter Kit and bring it with you. You can download the English or Spanish version of the kit by clicking here. This kit includes includes answers to common questions, a checklist of what you will need for the interview, and the Medical and School worksheet.

  • If you choose to do the interview in person at your local SSI officeyour child does not have to go. But if they can come with you, it may help the process go more quickly.

  • If you're applying for your child, say that up front when you first speak with SSI.

  • If you prefer to speak in a language other than English, Social Security will provide free interpreter services to help you- just ask. For more information about SSI's language services, click here.

What to bring:

What to expect:

  • You'll talk with a Social Security intake worker.

  • They'll review your family's income and resources first.

  • They’ll ask for the Child Disability Report.

  • They’ll give you some Medical Record Releases to sign. This lets them get the medical records they need to confirm the disability.

  • They'll ask you if you'd like to become your child's representative payee, and if so, they'll ask you for the bank account to deposit the SSI checks. (We'll talk more about rep payees in the next section of this Guide.)

  • They’ll give you the filled-out application for your signature.

  • Be sure to read the documents carefully before you sign them, and keep a copy for your records.

When to expect a decision:

  • Social Security usually makes a decision within 3 to 5 months after you submit the application.

 

Sources: Social Security, Jackins (2010).

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