Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a monthly financial benefit from the Social Security Administration to people with limited income and resources, who are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Blind or disabled children, as well as adults, can get SSI. In most states, SSI determination is required for Medicaid eligibility of children with disabilities.

The Social Security Administration has a guide to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. They state:

We pay disability benefits under two programs:

The Social Security disability insurance program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. (Your adult child also may qualify for benefits on your earnings record if he or she has a disability that started before age 22.)

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.”

Steps for applying for Supplemental Security Income

  1. Determine eligibility through SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) – an anonymous questionnaire for anyone seeking SSI
  2. If eligible, review what documents you will need in either SSI Child Disability Starter Kit (Spanish Version here) -or- Adult Disability Starter Kit (Spanish Version here)
  3. Apply Online for Disability Benefits -or- call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) -or- Call or visit your local Social Security office
  4. If denied coverage, you can appeal using a Disability Appeal or a Non-Medical Appeal

Outside Resources

How to Apply for SSI for Your Child: A 6-step article that walks you through the process of applying for SSI benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children: What is it, who is it for, and how can Parents/Caregivers help?