What Is Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides payment to low income people who are blind, have a disability or age 65 or older. SSI is managed by the Social Security Administration and the money used to make these payments are paid by the US Treasury general funds, not the trust funds from Social Security.

The base amount given for Supplemental Security Income is the same for all states, but most states also add additional money to these payments. To find out the current amount paid out for SSI in your state you can contact your local Social Security office.


SSI Application Rules and Guidelines

Your current income and resources, what you currently own, will determine if you can get Supplemental Security Income. Find out how to apply for SSI.


SSI Income Limits

Money received such as wages, Social Security benefits, pensions and even food and shelter are considered income. The monthly amount of income you have and where you live will determine if and how much of SSI you can receive. You can contact your local Social Security office to find out the income limits in your state. There is income you may have received that does not count towards the decision of if you qualify for SSI, this includes:


The SSA will include your spouse’s income and resources when deciding your SSI status. Marriage can affect your social security benefits in a positive way. If under the age of 18, they also include parts of your parent’s income and resources when deciding if you qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program. For sponsored noncitizens, they may include your sponsor’s income and resources. For students, some of the wages or scholarship money you receive may not count.

For people who work but are disabled, the Social Security administration does not count wages you use to pay for things you need to help with your disability that allows you to work, for example a wheelchair or money needed for training or assistance. People who are disabled may be qualified for other Social Security programs based on their income and employment status. If you are blind and spend money for transportation to and from work, then that will not count as income.


SSI Resource Limits

The Social Security administration might consider these as resources when deciding if you qualify for SSI:


For a single person, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income if your combined resources are worth $2000 or less, for couples it is $3000 or less. If you are selling property you may still be able to get SSI. The Social Security administration does not count all resources you own when determining if you qualify. Below is a list of items that don’t count:


Additional SSI Rules and Guidelines

In order to qualify for SSI you must live in the United States or be from the Northern Mariana Islands and be a United States citizen or national. In some instances noncitizen residents can qualify for SSI. To get additional information about this, request the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-11051).


Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Author & Social Security Advisor

Elliot Marks has spent over 10 years providing clear and concise information to help Americans navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.