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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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There are 10 Comments

i hav applyed for ssi in the past and never finished my ssi stuff i was so close this last time and i moved also and want to

My mother is moving from Calif to Texas in October and gets a total of 703 for SS and Disability and 140 from SSI. no other income comes in. will she get that in texas as well? who do I tell she is moving?

As far as I know, Social Security disability payments do not vary from state to state.

For SSI, some States supplement the Federal SSI benefit with additional payments. This makes the total SSI benefit levels higher in those States. SSI benefit amounts and State supplemental payment amounts vary based upon your income, living arrangements, and other factors.

California offers a state supplement which is administered by the federal Social Security Agency.

Texas is among the majority of states which pay and administer their own supplemental payments and you may contact the State for payment information.

Here are useful links for this :

I receive payments as a high school student, that I get as a part of my father's social security payments. He didn't pay child support for a little over a decade, when he started receiving SSI payments, they took a portion of it (624/mnth) and gave it to me.

I had to refile forms showing I was still in high school this year (took two years off school to work, so I'm behind), and they told me I could continue receiving it until April of '11 (two months after I turn 19). Now, after I've refiled the forms, they're saying I'm ineligible, after they told me all summer that I'd continue receiving payments.

I left work to finish school, so this is the only income I'm going to be getting. I'm in Ohio, if that affects the situation at all. Any idea of anything I can do (besides sitting on hold for an hour)?

Sorry, I haven't seen too much on this.

However, there may be a chance to qualify as a "student child".

A student child is an individual who is:

  • neither married nor head of a household;
  • under age 22; and
  • regularly attending school, college, or training designed to prepare him/her for a paying job.

Here are some details on "student child". The link may generate a warning, but accept it to see the page :

How can I find out whether I recieve ssi or ssdi? I used to recieve pymts b/c of my dad,when in school, but since then,it changed but I stil recieve a benifit check every month.

The SSI program provides monthly payments to disabled children from birth to age 18. To qualify for SSI, you mus have limited income and assets.

SSDI program provides monthly benefits to an adult child (a person age 18 or older) based on disability or blindness if the adult child's:

  • Impairment or combination of impairments meet the definition of disability for adults;
  • Disability began before age 22; and
  • Parent(s) worked long enough to be insured under Social Security and is receiving retirement or disability benefits or is deceased.

I would like to relocate from Wisconsin to Arizona. I am the payee to my daughters ssi money since birth. We have been putting off moving due to her health, but now that I've found a great children hospital in Arizona we want to relocate, but how do I get her ssi to switch over from Wisconsin to Arizona? Do we have to be approved all over again when it comes to her condition she was born with. Help?

You will want to verify with the SSA for your situation, but I have not seen a requirement to requalify for SSI when moving to another state.

However, you must report to the SSA when you receive SSI and move.

Note that many states provide an SSI supplement. However, Arizona is one of the few states which does not provide an SSI supplement. So your total "SSI" benefit may drop if you move to Arizona.

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