Disability, SSI

Extending a Helping Hand with Social Security

September 28, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

two holding hands It’s been said that the true measure of a society is found in how it treats its weakest and most helpless citizens.

We celebrate National Good Neighbor Day on September 28 but we can continue this sentiment all year round by extending a helping hand to our nation’s homeless citizens, who may also live with a disability, by telling them how Social Security can help them through the services we offer.

Social Security can pay monthly benefits to disabled homeless people who have accumulated enough credits from work to qualify. They can apply online at https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/. 

Social Security can also pay benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is a needs-based program for disabled people who meet the financial guidelines, and who haven’t worked enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. They can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi/ssi.html.

At www.socialsecurity.gov/homelessness, there is also a link to local housing assistance and service providers who can help a homeless person file an application for Social Security benefits.

We also recognize that not all homeless people, or those at risk for homelessness, can manage their benefits on their own. That’s why we work to identify them and connect them with a representative payee. A representative payee is a person, agency, or organization that can receive and manage the funds we pay for someone who receives benefits. If you are interested in helping the homeless through the representative payee program, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/payee.

Social Security is an active participant in the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, whose mission is to “coordinate the federal response to homelessness and create a national partnership at every level of government…”

For more information on helping the homeless through Social Security’s programs and services, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/homelessness.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Ashstyles

    Now A days a helping hand is an angel for poor people

  2. A

    Ive waited 6 years I’m 44 worked since I was 16 have had major back surgery both hips replaced have bad osteoarthritis can barely walk after 3 years and being denied I lost all my work credits so now trying for ssi still been denied saw all judge last August still no decision really isnt right that someone who absolutely needs it cant get approved. So I feel yall that have waited so long for another decision good luck to yall

  3. Hazel H.

    I do not understand why I have not been receiving my social security benefits for month of November. I have been on hold 2 hours and 3 hours was disconnected twice. I have been asked to send a check in July for “overpayment” which I did because again I was not able to get anyone to answer why. Please may I have an appointment to see someone at a local office


    I got released from prison back on February 2 2018 and I made my friend my payee and I’m leaving the state so I would like to go back to being my own payee I need help to fix this before I leave in January 2019

    • Vonda V.

      Thank you for using our blog to ask your question, Kristen. If you have a representative payee because of a physical or mental disability and you want to become your own payee, you must show Social Security that you are now mentally and physically able to handle your money yourself. You could provide: A doctor’s statement that there has been a change in your condition and the doctor believes you are able to care for yourself; or an official copy of a court order saying that the court believes that you can take care of yourself; or other evidence that shows your ability to take care of yourself.

      To make a representative payee change, you will need to visit your local Social Security office to apply.

  5. Rose B.

    Hi this is Rose Billodeau I’m asking this question for my mom Susan Miller she doesn’t have a state ID nor does she have ss card but she does have a birthday certificate if she goes to the sheriff’s department and take a picture for a picture id that stays good for 1 year would she be able to use that to get her ss card and ssi coming in???

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Rose. First of all, before your mother goes through the Social Security replacement card application process, be sure that she actually needs a replacement card. Individuals rarely need to show it. Usually just knowing the Social Security number is what is important. If she does indeed need a replacement card, we prefer to see a current (not expired) government issued document with a picture, as proof of identity for a replacement Social Security card. If your mother does not have one or cannot get one within a reasonable amount of time, we may be able to use other documents such as:

      •Employee identification card;
      •School identification card;
      •Health insurance card; or
      •U.S. military identification card.

      All submitted documents must be original or certified copy, cannot be expired and must show the person’s name along with other identifying information (date of birth or age).

      To see if your mother is eligible to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or to learn more on the process and what documents are needed to get a card, please visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page.

  6. Mary B.

    What do i need to do to become my sisters payee because her payee is no longer able due to age and health reasons? I need to know asap because she didn’t receive her monthly beneficent on the 1 of October 2018 and she has no other income for her bills .

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mary. A face-to-face interview is required and you must apply for and be appointed as a Representative Payee by SSA. We will -also- need to contact the beneficiary and the current payee. Please read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees for more information.
      If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

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