What You Should Know About the SSI Program

two people hiking with a sunsetThe Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides cash assistance to people with limited income and few resources.

But … how much do you really know about this program?

SSI provides monthly payments to people who are age 65 or older, completely or partially blind, or considered disabled under Social Security’s strict definition of disability. Social Security pays benefits to people who aren’t able to work due to a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death. Blind or disabled children of parents with limited income and resources can also be eligible for the program.

To qualify for SSI, you’ll need to meet strict income and resources requirements. Income is money you earn, such as wages, disability benefits, and pensions. Income can also include the value of items you get from someone else, like food and shelter. Social Security doesn’t count all of your income, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Different states also have different rules on how much income you can bring in each month and still get SSI.

Resources include the things you own, although we don’t count everything. For instance, we don’t count a house you own and live in, and we usually don’t count your car. We do count income from rental property, bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds. Also, to receive SSI, you must meet other program rules about residency and citizenship. You can find more information about income and resources and eligibility requirements on our website.

SSI payments are the same amount nationwide. In 2016, the basic monthly SSI payment is $733 for an individual and $1,100 for a couple. However, the amount you get may be different. It depends on your income and living arrangements. Some states also add money to the basic benefit.

If you think you may be eligible, apply now. You can contact us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to set up an appointment to apply for SSI at your local Social Security office. Please visit our website for more information.

 

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185 thoughts on “What You Should Know About the SSI Program

    • Hello Alberto, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state that you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information.
      We hope this helps.

  1. This doesn’t tell me how many hours I can work if I’m disabled. And receiving SSI and disability. I’m 36 and recieve just enough to cover the necessary bills. Nothing extra. No phone or cable, or even money for medicine. My son & I don’t even live payday to payday. So I’m looking for something to let me know what is the legal amount I can work online to support my child. Its weird that I recieve the same amount as my sister and her bf. Their household income from the gov to them is double my household income. They are not reporting they live together and they use half their money on meth. How in the world is this possible and acceptable to the government? People are lying to the government and nothing happens to them. Yet I’m honest…cause I hate liars. And yet I can’t find anywhere for help with household needs of bills. Ugh. Sorry for whining about stuff. It just really ticks me off when I see 2 people, and these aren’t the only ones I’ve seen getting benefits by lying. Cause I see other ppl tht really need help and can’t get the help needed. What is so freakin wrong with the world?

    • Hello Gena. You may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office.
      You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information.
      We hope this helps!

    • Thank you for your question, Henry. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that provides cash assistance to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.
      In 2018 the monthly SSI Federal Payment Standard for an individual is $750.00. If a person’s (gross) monthly retirement benefit amount is $1112.00 per month, he or she will not qualify to receive SSI benefits.
      Some individuals may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where they live. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information.

  2. why do people who work for a short time get more ssi then a person who worked for 50 plus years, get less, I know I am on of them. I retired at 62, but went back to work after a couple of months. Some this people didn’t work at all or maybe a year or two.

  3. If I’ve been living in a rehabilitation/nursing home while awaiting approval on my disability will that facility get my SSI back pay for the time I’ve been there or only from approval date?

    • Thank you for your question, Shirl. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program applies special rules when you enter or leave an institution (hospital, nursing home, or prison). Read our publication “What You Need to Know When You Get SSI” for more information.
      Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with an explanation. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  4. Would I have to go into the SS Office to apply for extra benefits? What information do I have to have when applying for this? Is there a form I can fill out online for these benefits?

    I just recently went through hip replacement surgery and did try to go back to my part-time job but it requires sitting at a desk for long periods w/o getting, which is not good for me. I had to go back to using a cane because of weakness on getting up.

    What is the address for the SS office in Columbus OH? I went to the Georgesville Rd office and there was no one there.

    Email – hillingbarbara@yahoo.com

  5. Thank you for the really informative article, especially the part about how to qualify for SSI someone needs to meet strict income and resource requirements. It also goes on to talk about what income can include, including wages, disability benefits, and pensions. In my view, knowing the ins and outs of all of this seems like it would be very complex, especially if you’re dealing with a disability and all of the other stresses in life, so I will have to look for expert lawyers who are familiar with social security insurance and disability and can help me navigate that road. https://rgglaw.net/practice-areas/social-security-disability/

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