What is Supplemental Security Income?

blank spacer

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):

blue ballIt is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
blue ballIt provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

 3 rotating pictures:  3 seniors, one in a wheelchair; an elderly couple; and, baby and Dad

Am I eligible for SSI benefits?

This link will take you to the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool. By taking 5 to 10 minutes to answer a few questions, you can find out if you are eligible for SSI or other benefits. (See also more detailed information on SSI Eligibility Requirements.)

How may I apply for SSI benefits?

Take this link to a summary about the SSI Application Process and Applicant Rights.

Help for Beneficiaries
Who Return to Work

If you already get benefits and are thinking about returning to work, please check out this link to a summary about SSI Work Incentives.

Income Reporting

If you receive SSI for yourself or someone else, check out this link to a chart with detailed instructions regarding income reporting for SSI recipients.

General Information

When you use the link to General Information, you will come to our list of published pamphlets and fact sheets about SSI. Some of these publications are in different formats. Some are also available in both English and Spanish languages.

Understanding SSI or
(325 KB doc)

The Understanding SSI booklet provides comprehensive general information about SSI eligibility requirements and processes. Written especially for SSI advocates, but also useful for the general public, it addresses a broad range of topics, from applying for benefits to reporting events that may change the payment of benefits. Please check out its "Table of Contents" for a list of these topics.

SSI Spotlights

SSI Spotlights are a series of 27 fact sheets about a variety of SSI topics, e.g., living arrangements, and are designed to supplement the guidelines in Understanding SSI (see above). You may link directly to each of the spotlights, or you may link to them from the text of the guidelines.

In addition, Spanish versions of the spotlights are available at Puntos Importantes de Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI).

Social Security Handbook

This is a link to Chapter 21 of the Social Security Handbook which contains material about SSI organized in question and answer format so that you can find the information you need quickly and easily.

SSI Law and Regulations

Go to our page on SSI Law and Regulations to find out which parts of the Social Security Act and the Code of Federal Regulations for the Social Security Administration are used to administer the SSI program.

Resources for Advocates and the General Public

Check the links on our SSI Resources page for information on how to find the nearest Social Security office, how to obtain a proof of income letter, etc.