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Home » Glossary » Supplemental Security Income

Definition of Supplemental Security Income

According to the SSA, "Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a federally administered disability program authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act for the aged (65 years or older), the blind or the disabled who are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months." SSI applicants must also meet very specific income and resource limitations to qualify for SSI benefits.

Under the SSI program, claimants will receive a monthly cash payment equal to the Federal Benefit Rate. This rate is the maximum payment available by the Federal Government. This payment can, however, be reduced if the claimant is getting other support for food and housing from other people such as their spouse. SSI benefits can also be reduced if the claimant is working and making too much money. SSI recipients may also be eligible for Medicaid, although not all states automatically offer Medicaid to SSI recipients.

Unlike SSDI benefits, claimants do not have to work or earn credits to qualify for SSI benefits, and payments are funded through general tax revenues, not the Social Security Trust Fund.

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