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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

Filing for Other Benefits

2117. Filing for Other Benefits

2117.1 What other benefits do you need to apply for before you can be eligible for SSI?

SSI is a program of last resort. Therefore, you must file for any other benefits for which you may be eligible. This means benefits such as Social Security benefits, private pensions, etc., which share all of the following characteristics:

  1. Require an application or similar action;

  2. Have conditions for eligibility;

  3. Provide either periodic or one-time payments; and

  4. Are sources of income that reduce SSI benefits.

2117.2 How do you know of other benefits for which you could be eligible?

We must provide you with written notice of potential eligibility for other benefits and of your requirement to "take all appropriate steps" to pursue these benefits. You have 30 days from receipt of the notice to file for the benefits involved.

2117.3 What does it mean to "take all appropriate steps" to pursue benefits?

"Taking all appropriate steps" to pursue other benefits for which you could be eligible means:

  1. Applying for the benefit;

  2. Providing the other payment source with any information necessary to establish eligibility; and

  3. Agreeing to receive the other benefits if you are found eligible.

Note: It is not necessary for an individual to pursue a claim for other benefits through an appeals process.

Last Revised: Aug. 1, 2005


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