Understanding Social Security > Supplemental Security Income

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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SSI is a federal income supplement program managed by SSA. Although SSA manages the program, SSI is not funded through Social Security taxes, but by U.S. Treasury general funds.  The SSI program makes monthly payments to individuals with limited income and resources who are:

  • Age 65 or older; or
  • Meet SSA’s definition of disability

And, who:

  • Meet certain other requirements regarding citizenship status and residency, and other technical requirements.

Basic SSI amounts are uniform nationwide. However, many states add money to the basic benefit.

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Fast Facts

  • SSI is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes).
  • It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income.
  • It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.