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2022 SSI Statement Urging Online Application for Older Adults

July 11, 2022

The Board’s 2022 SSI Statement urges SSA to introduce a separate online application for older adults applying for SSI whose eligibility is based solely on non-medical criteria. For these claimants, a separate online process would simplify and eliminate much of the lengthy SSI application that those applying for disability payments must complete.

The introduction of an online SSI application for older adults may increase access and lower administrative costs. However, it may also introduce barriers if customer experience and design principles that support diverse user needs do not drive its development. The Board’s statement highlights accessibility and usability factors that SSA should consider, including internet access, authentication, service preferences, and application design and functionality. A separate online application could enable older adults to complete the process independently or with the support of others.

The statement is included in SSA’s 2022 Annual Report of the SSI Program. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 gives Board members the opportunity, individually or jointly, to include their views on SSI in SSA’s annual report to the President and Congress. The Board’s other SSI Statements are available here.