Disabled Foster Children Can Now File for Adult SSI 180 Days Before Foster Care Eligibility Ends

Expanded SSI Application Window for Foster Kids

The transition to adulthood is one of the most important parts of life’s journey. For foster children living with a disability, it can be even more challenging. Social Security is conducting a pilot study that will let these young people apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits sooner.

Since 2010, our policy has been to allow foster children to apply for this program up to 90 days before their foster care eligibility ends. This lessens the risk that these young people will experience a gap in income support while we consider their application. However, in some cases the decision process can last longer than 90 days.

On August 1, 2016, we implemented a year-long pilot study doubling the SSI application window to 180 days before foster care eligibility ends. This pilot will help us assess whether the longer period significantly reduces the number of individuals experiencing gaps in income support. After a year, we will decide whether to make this policy permanent. For more information, you and your clients can visit our spotlight page at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-disabled-youth.htm.


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