SSI: Applying For: The Interview
Take the completed forms SSA-3368-BK and SSA-3369-BK and the information to complete form SSA-8000-BK or at least form SSA-8001-BK along with the other documents listed in What To Take With You To Your Social Security Interview to the interview. If you weren't sent forms SSA-3368-BK and SSA-3369-BK, take all the necessary information to complete them during the interview.
Keep in mind that during the first interview the Claims Representative is simply going to review the information in the forms, 3368 and 3369, and confirm the information Social Security has for you such as your current address.
Following are some suggestions about the interview to consider:
- Be prompt - Social Security runs on a tight schedule, especially in busy offices, so if you have an appointment, be on time. Take something to read, however, because Social Security personnel often get backed up in their appointments -- but don't count on it.
- Don't work too hard at looking sick - Your first appointment is with the Claims Representative. The Claims Representative is not the person who is going to determine if you are medically disabled. That's a whole different agency in another location. At the same time, you probably shouldn't be dressed to run in a triathlon either.
- Things to do during the interview:
- Get a written receipt for all documents and forms you leave with Social Security. This will fix the date of your application in writing and confirm what original documents Social Security keeps, such as a birth certificate. Usually, Social Security representatives will simply photocopy the documents after checking them so you don't have to leave the originals.
- If it doesn't come up, confirm that Social Security has your correct mailing address. Social Security's forms do not ask for your address. Social Security will use the address in your Social Security records unless new information is provided.
- If you have COBRA: Tell the Claims Representative and make sure the fact is noted in your file. Social Security representatives are supposed to handle claims for people with COBRA faster so you don't lose the opportunity to extend the COBRA coverage.
- If you are dealing with a stage of a health condition that could be described as terminal: Let your Representative know. Such claims are supposed to be handled faster than normal.
- Find out who you should call with questions and more information - and get their direct phone number. Usually the person to call to follow-up will be the Claims Representative that you meet with. Sometimes, especially if you are a walk-in applicant, the person interviewing you will pass your file to another Representative who will actually handle the processing.
- Make a list of any additional information or documents you are asked to provide. It would be unusual if Social Security doesn't require some additional financial documentation. Before you leave, show your list to the Claims Representative to make sure you are both on the same page and that your list is complete and accurate. If the Representative makes a copy of the list for his or her files, there is documentation in the file about what you are expected to do.
- Finally, the Claims Representative will have you sign several copies of a medical release [Form SSA-827-OP1 (8-94) Authorization for Source to Release Information to the Social Security Administration].The form gives Social Security permission to acquire your medical records from the various practitioners you listed in your form.