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Supplemental Security Income Benefits

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


126. Supplemental Security Income Benefits

126.1 What is "Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?"

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal program administered by SSA. The SSI program was established to provide cash assistance to individuals who:

  1. Have limited income and resources;

  2. Are age 65 or older;

  3. Are blind; or

  4. Are disabled.

Disability and blind children are also included in the SSI program.

126.2 Who receives SSI payments?

SSI checks or direct deposits (see §123) are paid either directly to the eligible person or to a representative payee (see Chapter 16) if the person is incapable of managing benefits. Chapter 21 explains the SSI program in more detail.

Last Revised: Apr. 18, 2006

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