SSI: 50 Years of Financial Security

October 31, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: October 31, 2022

Social Security Administration LogoWe’re celebrating 50 years of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

President Nixon signed the SSI program into law on October 30, 1972. Two years later, in January 1974, the agency began paying SSI benefits to people who meet the eligibility requirements. SSI recipients have limited income and resources, and this monthly payment helps meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Fifty years later, SSI remains a lifeline program for millions of people and households. SSI helps children and adults under age 65 who have a disability or are blind and who have income and resources below specific financial limits. People age 65 and older without disabilities–who meet the financial qualifications–may also receive SSI payments.

If you want to apply for SSI, it’s best to start the process online. The online process takes about five to ten minutes, and no documentation is required to start. We will need the following basic information about you or the person you’re helping:

  • The name, date of birth, Social Security number, mailing address, phone number, and email address (optional) of the person who is interested in applying for SSI.
  • If helping another person, we need your name, phone number, and email address (optional).

Once you provide this information and answer a few questions, we will schedule an appointment to help you apply for benefits. We will send a confirmation with the appointment date and time by mail and email (if provided). In some cases, we may call you to schedule the appointment.

If you’re unable to begin the process online, you may schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. You may also contact your local Social Security office. You can find the phone number for your local office on our website.

Please share this information with your friends and family who need it–and post it on social media.

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  1. Margeé

    Too many people receiving SSI or SSD, they should be working for their money.

    • Greg S.

      I hope you never have a disability because if you ever do you will find out how important having SSI means

      • jackie d.

        well said Greg!

  2. Kara

    I have been receiving both SSI + SSDI as well as Medicare and Medicaid since 2013. There hasn’t been any change in my income, however my rent has gone up and I no longer receive food stamps because the recertification was during the pandemic and they scheduled a time to call, but never did. The pandemic continued and the social services offices were closed and therefore unreachable, but they stopped my food stamps. I’m disabled and therefore cannot get to an account easily exp without transportation, which I don’t have. I was told that my Medicaid and SSI would end on 12/31/2022 unless I have an open case with social services. Apparently it is the only way to verify my income? I was wondering if that’s true and regardless of the answer, what should I do to ensure that I don’t lose my Medicaid and SSI. With the Medicaid, I couldn’t afford to use the Medicare.

  3. OS N.

    Wish there are Social and financial security for startups and people who want to do something and create jobs in own country- Online Shopping in Nepal

  4. Vaishnavi

  5. Adam

    Say, what does “since you were first entitled to benefits” mean? As used on the page about withdrawing an application (

    Is it tied to my birthday? Or is it related to the date I originally applied for benefits?

    (And if it is tied to my birthday, is the the date I could file for full benefits, or the earlier date I could file for reduced benefits?)

    I am sure this is obvious to those who know this stuff, but it is a head scratcher and is not explained.


    • Ann C.

      Hi, Adam. Thanks for visiting our blog.  If you change your mind about receiving retirement benefits, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim only if it has been less than 12 months since you were first entitled to benefits.

      Your date of entitlement is the month you start your benefits and may not be the same as the date you actually receive your first check. For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have specific questions, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  6. Denise M.

    Can u get SSI if you are on SSDI?

    • JuNae J.

      I get SSI and SSDI so I don’t know I think it depends on how long you worked before you were disabled

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Denise. Thanks for your question. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits. You may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you are already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits. For more information, please visit our Supplemental Security Income page. We hope this helps. 


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