Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to tell you about a new tool people can use to tell us they, or someone they are helping, wants to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other benefits. The process takes only 5 – 10 minutes and asks for basic information about the person who wants to apply for SSI. A Social Security representative will schedule an appointment and send the appointment information by mail (or email, if provided). In some cases, a Social Security representative may call to schedule the appointment.

Using this tool documents intent to file an application and establishes a protective filing date. The protective filing date determines when payments can begin if an application is approved.
Certain third parties, such as parents of minor children, family members, representatives, or members of advocacy groups, can also use the tool to express interest about applying for SSI on behalf of someone they are helping. For someone unable to use the tool, we will continue to establish the protective filing date based on a written statement of intent to apply or an oral inquiry about program eligibility.

This tool is part of our ongoing commitment to expanding online services and making it easier for people who face barriers to service get the support they need from us.

If you have any questions, please email us at


Jeffrey Buckner
Associate Commissioner
Office of Strategic and Digital Communications
(T) 410-965-1804

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