Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Apply for Benefits

You can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

  • Online (which starts the application process immediately)
  • By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) to make an appointment to apply either:

Note: If you are approved, you get SSI benefits for the entire time since the date you applied. That’s why you should apply as soon as you can. If you don’t have everything ready for your application, that’s OK — you can still apply and send any missing information as quickly as possible.

Getting Your Application Ready

When you apply for SSI, you need to give Social Security:

  1. Basic facts, like your name, date of birth, and address

Note: You don’t need to have a fixed address. If you’re experiencing homelessness or don’t have a fixed address, you can still get SSI. Read Social Security’s Spotlight on Homelessness.


  • Identification, like your driver’s license, state ID, or passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship if you were born outside the U.S., like naturalization papers or your U.S. passport. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must be a qualified alien who meets certain conditions. For more details, contact your local Social Security office.
  • Social Security Number
  1. Documentation of your medical condition


  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and others who have treated you
  • Prescriptions and results of medical tests
  • Documentation explaining how your medical condition affects your daily life

Be ready to:

  • Sign forms so Social Security can get copies of your medical records
  • Fill out forms about how your disability affects your daily life
  • Give Social Security permission to contact your employer, friends, or family to learn how your disability affects you
  1. Documentation of your income


  • A list of the types of jobs you’ve done for the past 15 years
  • Copies of recent tax records or W-2 forms
  • Information about other benefits you get
  • School records, if you’re under 22
  1. Documentation of your resources


  • Copies of bank statements

Be ready to:

  • Answer questions and give proof about any savings, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other resources that you own

Social Security provides a detailed checklist of the information you need to complete the application process.

Apply for Other Benefits While Your SSI Application Is Reviewed

The SSI application can take four months or longer. While you wait for your SSI benefits to begin, apply for other benefits, like:

You can apply for these benefits at your county Board of Social Services by mail or in person. You can also apply online using:

Note: NJ Helps can help you figure out which state benefits might help you.

Learn more