The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is vital for extremely low-income people who cannot work due to age or disability. The maximum federal benefit is just $841 a month for an individual, which is supposed to cover rent, utilities, food, and other basic needs. Not only is the monthly benefit too low, but there are strict eligibility rules that keep people from being able to fully access the SSI benefit. Justice in Aging is authoring a series of briefs highlighting areas where SSI policies should be improved.
The first of these briefs, Ensuring Access to Assistance from State and Local Governments and Nonprofits, explores how SSI beneficiaries can receive help and in-kind support from state and local governments and non-profits to help them meet their basic needs, without jeopardizing their SSI benefit. Get the brief.
The second of these briefs, Improving Language Access for SSI and Social Security Beneficiaries, outlines areas in which the Social Security Administration should do more to ensure language access for everyone, including expanding the availability of forms and notices in multiple languages, removing policies that make it harder for LEP individuals to access benefits, and regularly reviewing and updating language access policies. Get the brief.
Future papers will focus on a range of topics, including the application process, and others.