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What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


2100. What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a cash assistance program funded and administered by the Federal Government. The program is authorized by Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled) of the Social Security Act.

Beginning in January 1974, SSI replaced the Federal/State matching grant program of adult assistance to the aged, blind, and disabled. Under SSI, there is no minimum age limit for establishing eligibility based on blindness or disability.

Last Revised: Nov. 3, 2003

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