The 2023 SSI Statement continues the Board’s work on access to SSI for underserved populations, focusing on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Compared to the general population, on average, the AI/AN population experiences significantly worse socioeconomic circumstances and poorer health, 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. 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.
The Statement 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. Since 1998, the Board or one of its members has submitted a statement each year. Previous Board SSI Statements are available here.