Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides people who are disabled, blind or aged with money to meet their basic needs, including shelter, clothing and food. As of 2015, this monthly payment amounts to $733 for individuals, $1,100 for couples and $367 for essential persons.
In addition to the cash payments, those receiving benefits may also be eligible for several other government programs to help with other needs. Individuals receiving SSI are often eligible for Medicaid, which covers medical expenses, and many states add those receiving SSI payments to their Medicaid programs automatically. Other potential benefits include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicare for those who meet age requirements.
Funded by general tax revenues as opposed to Social Security taxes, SSI operates as a means tested benefit program. Applicants must have limited income and resources to qualify, but individual applicants can have up to $2,000 in uncounted assets, and couples may have $3,000. The program also requires applicants be a U.S. citizen or national or fit within certain categories of aliens.
To apply for benefits, potential applicants can visit local Social Security Administration offices, fill out the forms online at the Social Security website or call 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone.