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SSAB Urges Social Security to Consider SSI Application Challenges Facing American Indians and Alaska Natives

June 5, 2023

Washington, DC — Today, the Board released its 2023 SSI Statement focusing on the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population. On average, the AI/AN population experiences significantly worse socioeconomic circumstances and poorer health compared to the general population, including higher rates of poverty and disability. AI/AN people may also face barriers to accessing SSI when using SSA’s in-person, online, and telephone service options.

In 2022, SSA established the Office of Native American Partnerships within the Commissioner’s Office, in order to enhance SSA’s relationships with AI/AN Tribal communities. The Board recommends more extramural research, outreach to Tribal governments on priorities related to service delivery, and data collection. In its conclusion, the Board states that changes to the SSI application process or SSA’s service delivery should be driven by consultation and partnership with, and meaningful inclusion of, Tribal governments and AI/AN people.

Read the Statement

The 2023 Statement continues the Board’s work on access to SSI for underserved populations. It is included in SSA’s 2023 Annual Report of the SSI Program. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 gives Board members, individually or jointly, the opportunity to include their views on SSI in SSA’s annual report to the President and Congress.

Access Previous SSI Statements


The Board’s mission is to advise the President, Congress, and Commissioner of Social Security on the Social Security and SSI programs. The Board is comprised of Presidential and Congressional appointees with professional staff.