Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that pays monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources. Individuals eligible for this service have a disability, are blind, or are age 65 or older who have not worked or do not have enough work credits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
To qualify for SSI, individuals must be:
At least age 65; or
Have a disability
And who has:
Limited income and resources; and
Is a citizen or national of the US or an immigrant who meets certain applicable requirements OR
Resides in one of the 50 States, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands, except for a child of military parent(s) assigned to permanent duty anywhere outside the United States or certain students temporarily abroad
Most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for Medicaid and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Program Assistance) formerly known as Food Stamps.
Types of services and supports that can be used for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Once enrolled in SSI, individuals may receive a flat amount of monthly cash benefits. However, the benefit amount may be reduced or increased determined by whether the recipient receives income from other sources. Generally, the more income a person has, the less their SSI benefits will be. People cannot receive SSI benefits if their monthly income is greater than the allowable limit. This is known as the resource standard.
To calculate how much SSI benefits can be received monthly, the Social Security Administration subtracts the income not counted toward the benefits from your total income. This becomes 'countable income.' This value is subtracted from the SSI Federal benefit rate (FBR), which is a flat amount. The remaining value is what becomes the SSI benefit.
There are many variables that may determine how much money an individual or couple could receive each month. For more information and helpful resources, read the online SSI Guidebookproduced annually by the Social Security Administration.
Participants can apply for Social Security benefits online, over the phone, or by visiting a local Social Security office.