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Expanded SSI Application Timeframe for SSA Pilot Program

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been implementing a pilot program since August 2016 that allows young people in foster care to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits earlier than permissible under current rules. Since 2010, the SSA’s rules have allowed foster children to apply for this program up to 90 days before his or her foster care eligibility ends, reducing the risk that these young people will experience a gap in income support while the SSA considers their application. However, in some cases, the decision process can last longer than 90 days. The year-long pilot program doubles the SSI application window from 90 days to 180 days before they exit foster care. The goal of the pilot is to help the SSA assess whether the longer period significantly reduces gaps in income support: after a year, they will decide whether to make this policy permanent. Please help spread the word about this pilot program by visiting the SSA’s spotlight page.