Guest Bloggers, People Facing Barriers, SSI

SSI Helps Our Most Vulnerable

May 13, 2021 • By

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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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  4. Sonja E.

    If I applied for disability and was denied but I am going to appeal the decision, how can I apply for SSI? It looks to be the same application online.

    • P.H.

      Hi Sonja, thanks for using our blog. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, an SSI application is typically taken at the same time. Please contact your local office to determine if you need to file a new SSI application or if you will just need to file an appeal. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  5. Vyas A.

    My wife applied on my benefit .I got $432/-pm. She is 68 years and has been approved for only $168/pm. Why she has not been given 50% of my benefit? Please answer as early as possible to enable me file an apeel in case of need.

    • P.H.

      Hi Vyas, thanks for using our Blog. Benefits for your wife could be equal to 50% of your full retirement amount if she starts receiving both retirement and spousal benefits at her full retirement age. However, if your wife took her reduced retirement first, while waiting for you to reach retirement age, then her own retirement portion remains reduced. This causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of your benefit amount. For any additional specific questions, please contact your local Social Security office or you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. We hope this information is helpful.

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