SSI recipients are most likely to get an SEIE approved if they put together a packet of information for the SSI program staff that establishes eligibility for the SEIE.

Get the SEIE eligibility packet to local Social Security office’s Work Incentives Liaison (WIL) or to the Claims Representative Assigned to the Beneficiary

  • Every Social Security office should have a WIL, a person with expertise on Social Security and SSI work incentives.
  • In the local Social Security office where the SSI beneficiary is served, a Claims Representative will be assigned for the beneficiary.
  • The beneficiary should go to the Social Security office in person and first seek to give the SEIE packet to the WIL.  If it cannot be delivered to the WIL, ask that it be given to the Claims Representative assigned to the case.
  • If possible, give the SEIE packet to the WIL or Claims Representative during a face-to-face meeting.

What should be included in the SEIE packet?

  • A copy of the SSI policies governing the SEIE (preferred).  Or references to the two SEIE policies, POMS SI 00820.510, and POMS SI 00501.020,
  • A statement that you are under age 22 (Social Security will have a record of your age).
  • Proof that you are attending a school program or vocational training program that meets the “regularly attending school” requirements.  This could be a school schedule, letter of acceptance, recent grade transcripts, or a letter from the school/training program verifying your attendance.
  • Recent paystubs that show how much you are earning.
  • Anything else that the WIL or Claims Representative specifically requests.
  • You should also consider including the Print and Go Tip Sheet from this Toolkit, “The Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE):  A Special Work Incentive for Students Up to Age 22.”

Following Up on the SEIE approval request

  • If you have not heard about the SEIE approval and two weeks have passed since you provided the SEIE packet to the WIL or Claims Representative, you should follow up.
  • First, attempt to call the WIL or Claims Representative.
  • If you cannot reach the WIL or Claims Representative, go to your local Social Security office and ask to speak to one of them.
  • If two more weeks have passed and there is still no answer, repeat these steps.
  • If a month or more has passed and there is still no answer, go to the local Social Security office and ask to speak to the supervisor.  Explain to the supervisor what you have done to date.

If you have a Work Incentives Counselor, they may be able to assist with the follow up.

  • The Work Incentives Counselor may have a regular working relationship with the WIL and will know how best to approach them to get the SEIE approved.
  • Free Work Incentives Counseling (often called benefits counseling or benefits planning) will be available in all areas of the country through the Social Security-funded Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects.
  • To find a WIPA program in your area, go to the Ticket to Work “Find Help” Page,  From home page you can navigate to find contact information for WIPA projects in your state or region of the state.
  • Your state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency might also fund free work incentives counseling if you have an open case with the VR agency.
  • In some states, you might find free work incentives counseling outside of the WIPA or VR agency systems.