Apply as soon as possible so that you do not lose benefits. Benefits will not be paid for time periods earlier than the effective date of your application.
If you call the Social Security Administration to make an appointment to apply and you file an application within 60 days, they may use the date of your call as your application filing date.
If you do not keep this appointment and you do not contact the Social Security Administration to reschedule the appointment, they will try to contact you. If they do not get in touch with you to reschedule the appointment, they will send you a letter. The letter will say that if you file an application within 60 days from the date of the letter, they will use the date of your original contact with us as your SSI application date.
If you are in a public institution but you will be leaving within a few months, you may not be eligible for SSI until you leave. You may, however, be able to apply before you leave so that SSI benefits can begin quickly after you leave.