Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Last Updated: October 20, 2020

Written by the Open Caregiving Team. Editorial review by Joyce O. Murphy RN, MSN.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays monthly benefits to disabled or blind adults, and qualified children with limited income. It does the same for adults who are 65 or older who do not have disabilities and have limited income.

How does Supplemental Security Income work?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) distributes SSI payments the first day of every month to eligible recipients. Depending on your state and eligibility, SSI may also include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Medicaid benefits.

What is the difference between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security?

Supplemental Security Income eligibility does not count your prior work and is not funded by social security taxes. This is different from Social Security Retirement Benefits. People are paid those when they are retirement age and have earned enough working credits and paid social security taxes

Who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income in 2020?

To be eligible for SSI, you must be:

  • Blind, documented as a disabled child or adult, or over 65 years old.
  • Able to prove you have limited income with resources and assets of $2000 or less (for individuals) and $3000 or less for couples.
  • A US Citizen or National and live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands.

How many hours can you work while on SSI?

There is no limit to how many hours you can work while on Supplemental Security Income. The only limits that affect eligibility are your income and asset amounts.

How much can I receive from Supplemental Security Income in 2020?

Supplemental Security Income benefits are paid out based on the cost of where you live and how much monthly income you have.

The 2020 maximum SSI payments are $783 a month for an individual and $1,175 a month for couples. There’s another $392 a month available for an essential caregiver of the recipient. States may add varying money to each SSI payment. This applies to those outside of Arizona, Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, and the Northern Mariana Islands,

To contact the Social Security Administration to see if you are eligible and how much money you may receive, Contact Social Security By Phone

How do I apply for Supplemental Security Income?

You can apply for Supplemental Security Income on the Social Security Administration portal. This also serves as an application for Social Security Benefits if you are eligible for both.

How long does it take to get supplemental security income?

It usually takes around 3 to 4 months to receive a decision once you’ve submitted an application. The time it takes mainly depends on:

  • If an examination by a medical professional is needed to support the application.
  • How long it takes to receive the findings from the medical examination.
  • If your application is randomly chosen for quality assurance purposes.

People with Compassionate Allowances (Cal) diseases should get a quicker process. You may get a decision within weeks of submitting your or your loved one’s application. There are other situations that allow for quicker payment while you wait for a final decision. Continue reading about expedited payments on the SSA website.

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Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security Administration (SSA) offers 3 types of social security benefits including: Retirement Benefits, Disability Insurance (SSDI), Survivors Benefits.