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Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Overview

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based, cash assistance program designed to assist people who are disabled, elderly (over age 65), or are blind. To be eligible, a person must have little to no income or assets. Also, disabled children of low-income parents/guardians, and non-disabled children with disabled parents/guardians may also be eligible to receive SSI benefits.


SSI is managed and administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the purpose of assisting qualified people who need help meeting their basic living expenses. SSI, is funded by general tax revenues and paid for by the United States government. People who are approved for SSI benefits may also qualify for Medicaid assistance.


Do you qualify for SSI?

The Social Security Administration determines whether an applicant is eligible for SSI based on the following factors:

  • You have little to no household income or other resources.
  • Your disability is expected to last at least 12 months, or be serious enough to cause death.
  • Your disability is listed on the SSA’s list of impairments.
  • You must be unable to perform your past work or any other work on a regular basis.