SSI Helps Our Most VulnerableReading Time: 1 Minute
Last Updated: May 13, 2021
The 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.