The SSA-8000: Application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is completed by an SSA claims representative either at a field office or on the phone. In some SOAR communities, case managers are trained to complete the SSA-8000 and submit the paper version to SSA. If the paper version is submitted it must be signed by the applicant. Contact your State Team Lead to find out whether this is possible in your community.
Print out the SSA-8000 (PDF) and enter information as you gather it. View a sample completed SSA-8000 paper form here.
Beginning on April 1, 2017, applicants who meet the following criteria can now complete the iSSI application (a limited, deferred SSI application) online:
Note: The iSSI application is not the same as the SSA-8000, and the applicant will need to answer additional questions from SSA outside of iSSI about income and resources.
SSA plans to expand the population who can file for SSI online in future updates. Claimants who do not meet these criteria will still be able to express an intent to file for SSI; however, they will not be able to file for SSI online.
SOAR Case Managers Can Help
This is the first part of the SSI application to be processed. It is lengthy and can be daunting for the applicant.
Any assistance by the case manager can be very helpful.
Become familiar with this form and use it as a worksheet to help prepare the applicant.
The case manager and applicant should actively seek the necessary documentation and information about resources, income, living arrangement, and immigration status to help avoid delays in the process.
Potential for Partnership with SSA
Completing the paper form of the SSA-8000 has benefits for the applicant and SSA.
This can allow the applicant to tackle the information in smaller chunks of time.
It is particularly useful for individuals who find it extremely difficult to leave their “spot” (such as a camp or park bench) or who are extremely uncomfortable going to a government office.
Applicants with active symptoms may find it difficult to complete the entire application in a single interview.
The SSA claims representative can spend less time during the interview when the form has been completed and necessary documentation has been prepared.
Since SSI is based on need, SSA must gather a great deal of information relevant to “need,” including resources, income, and living arrangement. Two other areas that affect eligibility are legal status and citizenship/residency. For more information on these topics, please visit our Criminal Justice page (legal status) or SSA's website (citizenship/residency).
Completing the SSA-8000: Part 1 Basic Eligibility
SSA-8000 Questions 1-4: Name and Address
This is a series of questions about the applicant’s identification and address.
For question 1d, we recommend adding the applicant’s parents’ names if they are available, as this helps with identification.
SSA will ask for a mailing address for the applicant. For applicants experiencing homelessness, this can be the SOAR representative’s agency address.
It’s important to remain consistent with the mailing address used for the applicant throughout all SSA application forms.
Question 3 asks for a residence address, if different than the mailing address.
For applicants experiencing homelessness, you can write “homeless” here. Do not leave this space blank or SSA may believe that the applicant is living at the mailing address.
For applicants who are incarcerated, the jail or prison address will be their residence address.
If the applicant has a bank account, you can add this information here to enroll them in direct deposit if they are awarded benefits.
SSA-8000 Questions 5-6: Current and Prior Marriages
SSA asks about all current and prior marriages to see if the applicant may be eligible for Title II (RSDI) benefits based on the earnings record of a spouse or former spouse. If the applicant has had more than one prior marriage, add the details of his or her other past marriages in the remarks section.
SSA-8000 Question 7: Date of Onset and Illnesses
We recommend using the applicant’s last date of work as the date he/she became unable to work. SSA will examine all of the applicant’s prior employment to determine if any of the previous work attempts were unsuccessful (i.e.: the applicant was unable to sustain work for more than a few weeks or months due to disabling mental or physical health conditions).
This question will also come up on the SSA-16 and SSA-3368. It is important to remain consistent across all forms with the date you provide, or it could delay processing at SSA.
Question 7 asks about inability to work, blindness, and for information about his/her parent if the applicant was unable to work due to his or her conditions prior to age 22.
SSA-8000 Questions 8-14: Citizenship and Immigration
Citizenship and residency will affect SSI eligibility. Applicants who are U.S. citizens by birth can answer “yes” to question 9 and skip to question 15, as questions 10-14 only apply to immigrants to the U.S.
When assisting an individual who is not a U.S. citizen, it can be helpful to contact the local SSA office for assistance with completing the application.
SSA-8000 Questions 15-16: Residency Abroad
Applicants who were born in the U.S. can use their date of birth for question 15a. If the applicant has lived outside of the U.S., provide details in 15b. Question 16 asks only about trips outside of the country in the 30 days before filing the SSI application.
Note: military deployments do not count as residency abroad.
SSA-8000 Question 17
You only need to answer this if you are applying on behalf of your child.
SSA-8000 Question 18: Warrants
These questions ask about any unsatisfied felony warrants for the applicant’s arrest, or any unsatisfied federal or state warrants for violating conditions of probation and parole. For more information about legal status, please visit our Criminal Justice page.
Individuals with active warrants are eligible to apply for and receive benefits as long as the warrant is not related to escape or fleeing to escape prosecution.