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. mary a.

    I was changed from SSDI in 2016 as I had turned 65 actualy in 32015. I also a widows penison as Im the widow of a veteran. This is SSA now. I tried to see about VA benefits but was denied. I only have $1149 a month. I live with my sister in law and pay her $500. and pay her $100 for part of the bill for the new windows that were installed. My brother was a veteran from the Vietnam era. He passed May 4, 2016. My husband was a Marine and passed April 28, 2003. He was a veteran from the Korean war. I was driving people so that they could drink but not drive, I had done this for 6 yrs in our community. So in Feb. 12,2015 I had one of the guys that I had known for about 3 yrs had told me that after we went to the Red Lobster that he excepted to have sex with me in exchange for my dinner which was $ 37. He had been telling me that one of us was going to be a different person on that night. Also had told me that all he had to do was make a phone call and his problem would be gone. So after he raped me and telling me this I never reported the rape until June 10, 2015. I wasn’ involved with any man since my husband’s death in 2003. So I now have been doing therapy at Community Reach for PTSD. I also see the psycharist about 2 months. This has been going on since Oct. 17, 2015. When I reported this to the Sheriff’s office the Detective in charge only called the predator who told him that nothing happened between me and him. When ever I talked to the Detective he would tell me that he was to busy doing a homicide case since Halloween in 2015. I talked to him on Nov. 23, 2015 and never talked to him after that. I called the adovacate who asked me who told me thatbthe Detective was to busy to work on my case. I told her that the Detective his self told me that on the 3 or so times I talked to him. So I started going to Community Reach Mental Center on Oct. 2015. Also I told 2 people(friends ) what had happened that night. Also in June 2015 I told the staff at Kaiser thst I had been raped in Feb. 2015. They told me that I needed to report it to the authorities. Not one of the places where I was being treated ever had me to do a rape kit or a pelvic exam. I had been in KS with my friend and coming back home I ended up at the ER at the local hospital. I had a UTI and was dehydrated. Also they did a Pelvic Exam on June 10, 3016. Also several other tests were done. I have the medical reprts for thst date but no one has ever seen this report as far as the authorities. Also I have all of the appt. cards for my therapy at Community Reach center. I talked to a supervisor at the Sheriff’s Office who told me it was not a good thing for me to keep on about trying to help me charge this predator. So how am I supposed to get over being raped when no one at the authorities level has ever helped me. They have told other people that I talked to them on July 31st, 2015. I wasn’t i Commerce City after I got my plates for my car. I went to Ft. Collins as we were awaiting r
    for my great grandson to be born. I than came home and waited fir some one to call for a ride home. Also earlier in June 2015 after I first reported this I was told that I had went to report this issue and that I was laughing and never finished reporting the rape. Again I dont know who thwy talked with but it wasn’t. me. The day U met with the adovacate I was in tears and i haven’t ever been with the predator. I was told that I was meeting up with the ptedator when I left the office. I haven’t seen the adovacate since I reported t h is on June 10, 2015. I have notebooks that I’ve written about this but was told that couldn’t be used as wasn’t sure if written in Fe. Or Sept. I haven’t read them since I started going to therapy so I don’t know for sure what I had written down. I can tell that I know the date and who raped me. I can tell you dates of other issues that I’ve had going on since 2008 to current. I can tell you about my stuff being stolen out of my car oin Sept. 2913 when I totaled my car. Also can tell you anout the car accident i April 2016 and when I hitbthe median on Oct. 18, 2016. I can tell you about being fired from Adams County in 2008. I. can tell you about the fire in the apt. complec in 2006. I can write this issue down without ever having a calender in front of me. I can tell you what this predatorbsaid that night. I can tell you that he tells people that I’m the crazy woman trying to acusse him of raping me. I can tell you the question that he asked me that night. I feel that because of this predator hevtook my freedom and the ability to have a car to drive any longer. He made so that I no longer can be in the bar because I don’t want to see him. I just want to be able to have a car so thst I can go places without having to deoend on family or friends. It.s ‘been almost a year since I had a car. I hadn’t driven since April 2016 til Oct. 2016. Than it’s been since Oct. 2016 to current. I don’t know why no one will talk to me about this issue. It’s been since 2015 and here it is Sept.2917. Thank you,
    Mary Adler

    • AKA

      Perhaps no one has the time to listen to your life’s story. Your sister-in-law is a real gem, talk to her.

    • carols

      Hello Mary,

      Through the Older American’s Act, there may be a Area On Aging office in your state/local city. Contact them, they assist seniors and the disabled and they may have a program to assist you.

  2. Lesly F.


  3. Glen J.

    I am sorry but I do not know what to say.

  4. Jemnifer D.

    How do I apply for binfets for my two kids on line so ssi I got a letter from the judge and he said that my kids can get a check to so I need to know how and if my kids can apply

    • AKA

      Only the aged or the disabled can get SSI. Either you or the Judge is confused. If you are talking about regular SSDI then the children could receive benefits. COntact your local SS Office or call 800-7721213.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Jemnifer. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and one of our representatives will assist you. They can also help you schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting. Generally, it’s best if you call later in the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  5. Tom H.

    Vivian Nelson

    • Tom H.

      yes you are possibly, I’d apply for it.

  6. Kerry L.

    Huh it takes about three years to get a claim approved for ssd unless you are dying.

    • AKA

      Not true, those with evidence of a serious problem are approved within a few months. A problematical diagnosis or little evidence would logically take longer. The average time is about 5 months for a decision.

      • Alfred J.

        Bull. I had many friends. Given 12-18.months toblivr who never received it.

        • Frances A.

          I got mine within a few months. As long as you can prove it with medical records it is usually no problem

    • Ray F.

      Hi Kerry. The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim, can vary depending on several factors. Primarily, the nature of your disability, how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources, and if your claim is randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. Please visit our Disability Determination Process web page for more information.

    • Jennifer

      I am at 7 years, US judge refused tbe case with several rcw codes broken. Sent to commissioner who sent back to original judge to explain or correct all problems (oh original judge said I could paint circuit boards, the commissioner added to find an acceptable job for me) and make new ruling. Got confirmation letter July 23, 2017. And was told I would have court date within 75 days, and they try to get a date sooner for those with older cases! Another crappy Christmas for my 10 year old son, he already hates me for not being able to work.

      • Jennifer

        Yes still waiting for court date, so far a month late.

        • Jenna Y.

          Hi Jennifer. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. The length of time it takes to get a hearing may vary depending on our case volume and availability of the judges. Although the Administrative Law Judge attempts to schedule all hearings promptly, there may be some delay if there are many requests ahead of yours or because of travel schedules. For more information regarding hearings, please read http://www.socialsecurity.gov/appeals/odar_pubs/70-10281.pdf. We hope this helps!

  7. Fernando A.

    I need to know how many years I have contributed to my retirement, where do I get this information?

    • Joyce S.

      You should contact your former employer for that Info and ask them to sent out a copy or call 18007721213 and talk with a representative and they should be able to send you a copy

      • Darrell D.

        Set up a “my Social Security” account and you can get a report that shows the payment credits history from your current and former employers. If you want information about a private pension you should be able to get that from your employer.

      • Ray F.

        Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page for information on how to get a Social Security Statement, thanks.

        • Alabamahomesick2012

          I would like to know how long the social security administration can wait before paying me my back pay. Everyone that I’ve talked to keeps giving me a different answers. They have acknowledged that they have all information needed such as direct deposit account information and I’m my own payee but I still have not received it since my case was approved in June. It’s very hard to not have enough income to live comfortable and be having to live with relatives when the back pay could help get me my own apartment.

          • Ray F.

            The length of time it takes to begin receiving payments after receiving a favorable decision in a hearing varies. Approved claims are randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. We care about our customers and are working as fast as we can. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. In your situation, we encourage you to continue working with your local office on specific information about your case or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Thanks!

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Fernando. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. You can create a My Social Security account to review your earnings record, get your Social Security Statement and get an estimate of your future benefits. In addition, we have a variety of other calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. We hope this information helps you!

  8. Fernando A.

    I nerd ro know how Manu years I hace contributed to my retirement pension, how do I get this information?

  9. Connie W.

    Chao cebu

  10. Vivian N.

    I am disabled from the military and receive $900.00 from VA monthly. I am unable to work Can I still collect SSI and my VA benefit? I am age 70

    • AKA

      No, your income is too high to receive SSI, a welfare program, for the disabled who have little to no income.

      • judith d.

        Why can’t we get both benefits, we paid into them or earned them..
        How do we change this?? This is wrong….

        • Tina C.

          The issue is that the Vet is over income, not that he isn’t qualified. THe Vet may still qualify for SSDI. He needs to visit a SSA office for more info. Also at age 65, the Vet will qualify for an additional VA pension that will boost his income to a basic level. He should talk to a VA service rep for more info.

          • Frances A.

            He should qualify for SSDI. Is this the way we treat the people that fought for this country? If so it’s BS

    • Ray F.

      Hi Vivian. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to individuals who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled, with limited income and resources. We consider all of your income when deciding whether you can get SSI. In 2017, the monthly –SSI- maximum benefit amount for an eligible individual is $735 ($1,103 for eligible couple). If you are married, we count your spouse’s income and resources as yours. To understand how the Supplemental Security Income program works, visit “Understanding Supplemental Security Income –2017 Edition for more information. Thanks.

    • Farrah W.

      I think he said 900.00 a month so how much did you mean you only make 11800$

      That is way below poverty in every intelligence on eart ??‍♀️

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