SSI for Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care: A Toolkit for Advocates

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is piloting a new policy that allows foster youth of any age to apply for SSI up to 6 months (180 days) before they leave care. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is piloting a new policy that allows foster youth of any age to apply for SSI up to 6 months (180 days) before they leave care. Beginning August 1, 2016, foster youth can submit an application and get a disability determination 6 months before their expected discharge date, even if they do not yet meet the income eligibility requirements due to their foster care payments.  The ‘SSI for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care, a Toolkit for Advocates’ includes several resources intended to spread the news about SSA’s policy and to assist in the benefit application process. 

The toolkit includes:

  • The definition of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and how the program can benefit youth transitioning out of foster care, as well as information regarding eligibility.
  • An SSI application timeline which indicated when to begin exploring eligibility, collecting documentation and reaching out to the local SSA office.
  • A sample demand letter to use if you believe an applicant has experienced an inappropriate benefits denial based on excess involve.
  • An overview of how to apply for SSI, connect with your local SSA office and what documentation is needed to apply.
  • Additional resources and other helpful information to assist youth with applying for Social Security disability benefits.

Toolkit Website: https://clsphila.org/sites/default/files/issues/SSI%20Toolkit.pdf