What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are monthly payments provided to people with low income and limited resources who are 65+, are blind, have disabilities, as well as children under 18 who meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, or their income and resources fall under the eligibility limits 1.  Every state provides different amounts of payments, so it is best to contact your local Social Security office to find out what your state provides.

It is a federal income-supplement program that is funded by general tax revenues, and provides cash payments to help meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

You can learn more about SSI through the PDF brochure provided by the Social Security Administration: Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  The SSA also has a section on their website devoted to explaining SSI 2.

For caregivers and children, there are various resources provided, such as the PDF titled “What You Should Know Before You Apply for SSI Disability Benefits for a Child” which answers questions such as “How does SS decide if a child is disabled/can get SSI?” and “How can I get ready for the disability interview?”  Children may qualify for SSI if they meet Social Security’s definition of disability for children and if they possess little/no income and resources 3.

In most states, being eligible for SSI means that that one is also eligible for Medicaid 4. Read more in What is Social Security? and SSA FAQ page.

Next: Does My Child Have a Qualifying Disability?

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