What happens next?

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

After you've applied for SSI, here's what happens next:

  1. Social Security will forward your application to the state Disability Determination Services office.

  2. That office will contact your family member's doctors to get your medical records.

  3. They may ask you about how your family member's condition affects their daily life.

  4. They may ask that your family member have a separate medical exam. They pay for this, not you.

  5. Once they have everything they need, they will make a disability determination (decision).

If Social Security approves your claim (application), they will send you a letter (called an 'award notice') that explains:

  • When your benefits start and your monthly benefit amount

  • How much your monthly check will be

  • What you need to report to Social Security, such as changes in work or health

  • When your case will be reviewed

  • What to do, and who to contact, if you have any questions.

What if you only qualify for a small amount?

Even if your family member's income qualifies them for only $1 of SSI, it's usually worth applying! Why? Because getting SSI automatically qualifies your family member for Medicaid health insurance. You can learn more about this later in this Guide.

 

Source: Social Security.

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