Guest Bloggers, People Facing Barriers, SSI

SSI Helps Our Most Vulnerable

May 13, 2021 • By

Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Kate LangThe COVID-19 pandemic has forced Social Security to limit in-person appointments to critical situations only. This led to a sharp decrease in the number of people applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. SSI provides monthly payments to people with low income and few resources who can no longer work due to age or disability.

Many of these individuals—especially older adults and those with limited English proficiency—rely on in-person meetings to get the help they need. Social Security stands ready to assist these groups with online and telephone services. Older adults wanting to apply for SSI payments must call the national 800 number (800-772-1213).  Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can call TTY 800-325-0778. Anyone can contact a local Social Security office to request an appointment. Social Security also provides free interpreter services in more than 150 languages.

At the end of 2020, Social Security began an outreach program for people currently receiving Social Security benefits who could potentially be eligible for additional payments through SSI. These individuals receive letters from Social Security to notify them of their potential eligibility. The letter provides a phone number people can call for possible SSI eligibility screening.

Social Security has also recently released on its web page additional Information for People Helping Others to apply for SSI or disability benefits. With these resources, more representatives from non-profits, health care organizations, and state and local governments can work with Social Security to serve those in need during these unprecedented times.

Social Security’s posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization or author.


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  1. Jayne B.

    Good luck contacting social security. They keep you on hold for long periods of time until THEY hand up on YOU.

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  3. Chrysoula H.

    Hello.
    I am kindly asking for help.. My monthly social security is 620. 00. More than a year ago, before the pandemic, I came to Europe to assist my family.. Both of my parents have died now, and I need to come back to the states.. My family can’t help me any more, I am 67 years old and don’t have any other resources.. I am also diabetic, and need medical assistance.. I am a Texas resident.. I am asking, please.. Who’s going to assist me now that I need help? Any information will help.. Thanks

    • Vonda

      Hi Chrysoula, thanks for using our blog. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

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  5. owen A.

    My monthly income is $1,800, have had 3 types of cancer , I’m 82 years old – Question are there any programs that fit my situation?

    • Vonda

      Hi Owen, thanks for using our blog. When a person has reached their full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they are no longer eligible for disability benefits. You may want to visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for the many programs and services that may be available to you in your state.

  6. Sam S.

    Please let me know what form to be annually filed by Social Security benefit recipients, who reside in Thailand, in order to continue receiving the benefits. Is it sent from the Social Security Administration in the USA, or it can be downloaded?. Can it be filed online, or on paper?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sam. It sounds like you are referring to Forms SSA-7161 and SSA-7162. Because of postal service interruptions around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration has suspended mailing these forms. SSA will not suspend your benefits if you have not completed and returned the forms in 2020. SSA will resume mailing the forms at a later date when conditions have changed. Our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

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    • Carla N.

      My name is Carla Nichols I get SSI benefits each month. I got the first and second stimulus check but I still have not got the third round of stimulus check yet why am I still waiting. Everyone I know that get’s SSI benefits got there $1,400.00 but I have not

      • Joseph R.

        I got the First and Second without using Non filers tool or doing anything. It just came on my Direct Express card I’ve had since 2012. But I still haven’t received my Third Economic Impact payment either…..Starting to wonder why the hold up , and this time you literally aren’t getting any info on phones or the IRS ( get my payment tool ).

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Carla. Please visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website here for all your EIP-related questions. If you are unable to find the answer, call the IRS hotline at 1-800-919-9835. We hope this helps.

        • Jo A.

          05/29th/2021.(Sat.)Attn: Ann C.,
          [Public Affairs Specialist] Hi! Ann. My name Is:
          JoAnn Thomas76 yrs. old. I NOW live-In DALLAS,TX 75231. Here for 35 years.
          “I’ve attempted twice.” Once by phone and
          by written Letter. I mailed My Father’s SS & RR
          papers. A photo of My dad! Asking for HELP!
          from his RailRoad-Retirement? My dad was seperated from My Mother; As he was about to draw his (retirement).”Being-that I am His Only-Heir! Why? on earth can’t The U.S.Gov.
          Provide (Me) with what is Left-of-what-[He] worked-so-hard-for.(I have Gloucoma,Cataract,Tunnel-Vision,I Live-on-fixed-Income: $828.per month. I have Health Ins.{Well Care} Medicare/Medicaid;SNAP!’EBT-food. But, I can’t afford (GREAT)Housing. DALLAS’ affordable Housing starts around; $1300 Or more!!! For an Efficient-Apt. Leasing: $513.per month…Would it be Proper, if I applied for-SSI? JoAnn 1+(214) 265. 1373

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