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Economic Security

Access to SSI and Food Benefits

California has the highest rate of senior poverty in the nation. Older adults are struggling to make ends meet and stay in their homes, especially in the areas of California with the highest housing costs. Homelessness among California seniors is on the rise. The SSI program, administered by SSA, can be an economic lifeline for low-income older adults as it provides a very basic income to pay for shelter, food, and other necessities for those who cannot work enough to meet their basic needs. In addition to expanding access to SSI benefits for older adults in California, we work to expand nutrition benefits for SSI recipients in California and recently added a housing component to our economic security work in California.

COVID-19: Low-income older adults and people with disabilities have faced significantly higher costs to meet basic needs during the pandemic, as well as unanticipated costs for delivery of food and medicine and purchasing PPE to safely shelter in place. In response, the state enacted the Golden State Stimulus and Golden State Grant, which provide stimulus payments to low- and moderate-income Californians, including the over 1 million SSI recipients in the state.

Fact Sheet: California’s State Stimulus & Low-Income Seniors, September 2021

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