The initial interview is the participant's first contact with the SSI Advocate. The purpose of the interview is to determine if the participant has already applied for SSI, and if not, initiate the steps necessary to apply.
- The participant's success in the SSI process is in large part dependent on the SSI Advocate's role in securing the participant's trust and cooperation. The first opportunity to do this is during the initial interview.
- The initial appointment sets the tone for the participant's success in the SSI process. During the initial appointment, the SSI Advocate:
- Explains the SSI Advocate's role as liaison between Social Security Administration (SSA) and the participant, acting on behalf of the participant.
- Stresses the importance of cooperating with SSI program requirements and the benefits of achieving self-sufficiency with SSI approval.
supportive services that are available to the General Relief (GR) participant, including transportation funds to all medical and SSI-related appointments, and encourages individuals to seek and follow a treatment plan for their disabilities.
- The SSI process is explained and the participant's SSI status, if any, is determined.
- Participants already in the process (i.e., have an SSI application request for reconsideration, or SSI hearing pending) are encouraged to allow the SSI Advocate to become the participant's authorized representative (allowing the SSI Advocate to act on the participant's behalf) or to refer them to the County's contracted hearing representative for hearing representation.
- Participants who have another representative are not required to have the SSI Advocate be their authorized representative; however, they are required to periodically report the status of their applications.
- Participants are screened for basic SSI eligibility requirements (i.e., the technical requirements outside the disability requirements, such as residence and immigration status requirements), using the ABPSSI 15, SSIMAP Screening Form.
- There is no retroactivity for SSI benefits. Participants are eligible for SSI payments on the first of the month following the SSI application date. To prevent loss of SSI benefits payable, every effort is made to protect the SSI application date. Protected application dates are recorded on the ABPSSI 15, the SSIMAP Screening Form.
- SSI application is completed for individuals screened as SSI eligible and who have not had a disability evaluation in the last 90 days.
- When a disability evaluation was completed within the last 90 days:
If an SSI application was denied:
In the last 60 days, then a request for reconsideration is done; or
More than 60 days ago, then a request for reconsideration with good cause is done. (Good cause criteria are outlined in the Resource Guide).
If a request for reconsideration was denied:
In the last 60 days, SSI hearing is
More than 60 days ago, then an SSI
application is completed.
- SSI applications are not completed by SSI Advocates for individuals age 65 or older. As these persons can qualify for SSI based on their age (instead of disability), SSA requires them to apply on their own.
- SSI applications are not completed for individuals not meeting SSI technical requirements (e.g., residence/immigration requirements).
SSI ADVOCATE DUTIES
- Upon initial contact with the participant, explains SSIMAP, its requirements, and the SSI Advocate's role.
- Determines if the participant is already in the SSI process, and if so, encourages the participant to accept SSI advocacy. If the individual's reconsideration has been denied, encourages the participant to accept a referral to the contracted hearing representative.
- If the participant is not already in the SSI process, screens for basic SSI eligibility requirements using the ABPSSI 15.
- Completes an SSI application, request for reconsideration, or refers for SSI hearing, as appropriate.
- Assesses any supportive services needs, making any appropriate referrals (e.g., General Relief Health Care Program or Department of Mental Health) and/or authorizing any needed transportation funds.
- Records all participant contacts and SSIMAP case activity on the ABPSSI 16, SSIMAP Activity Record.
- Updates LEADER with new or changed information, including Case Comments.
Upon conclusion of the initial appointment, the outcomes should include:
- The participant was thanked for coming to the appointment, motivated to continue the SSI process, and encouraged
to become self-sufficient.
- If the participant was in the SSI process, he/she was encouraged to allow the SSI Advocate to become his/her authorized representative or to refer him/her to the County's contracted hearing representative, when appropriate.
- If the participant was not in the SSI process but was potentially SSI-eligible, an SSI application or request for reconsideration was filed. If the application appointment was rescheduled for any reason, a protected SSI application date was recorded on the ABPSSI 15 to prevent a loss of SSI.
- If the participant was age 65 or older, he/she understood he/she must apply for SSI independently.
- The participant understood his/her reporting responsibilities
- Any needed supportive services referrals were made or transportation funds were issued.
- The participant left the office with the SSI Advocate's name and telephone number.
- The ABPSSI 16 and LEADER Case Comments were updated.
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