Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a critical supplemental program to the Social Security system that provides modest financial assistance for people who are unable to work enough to meet their basic needs. Examples of older adults who may qualify for SSI include an 80-year-old low-income retired couple with unexpected medical costs who are facing homelessness, a 50-year-old person who is blind, with no savings, and a 70-year-old single woman with little to no Social Security benefits. The program is a key anti-poverty program, but its outdated rules and requirements keep out many of the people it is supposed to help.
Below advocates will find Issue Briefs, Fact Sheets, and other resources to help you connect low-income older adults with this life-saving benefit, and help them stay on the program.
The SSI program is an economic lifeline for low-income older adults. However, the program has complicated rules, requirements, and restrictions that keep out the very people the program was created to help. Justice in Aging provides materials, trainings, and general information to help advocates navigate the complex rules and restrictions with their clients and stay informed about changes to or systemic problems with the program.
Advocate Guide: Supplemental Security Income 101, March 2018
Webinar: Legal Basics: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), March 2017
Advocate Guide: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program, April 2018
Webinar: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program, April 2018
Fact Sheet: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), updated 2019
Social Security Administration: Understanding Supplemental Security Income, 2020 edition
Report: SSA’s Reliance on Flawed Data Leads to People Losing SSI Benefits, April 2021
Fact Sheet: SSI Exclusion for Pandemic Related Financial Assistance, June 2022
Article: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income 101, 2017 (originally published in Clearinghouse Review)
Social Security and SSI recipients should be able to receive benefits without disruption. And when something goes wrong, there should be a fair and fast appeals process. We identify broken processes and work with the Social Security Administration to fix systemic due process problems within the appeals process. We also give advocates the tools and information they need to fight for their clients throughout the appeals process.
Issue Brief: Why SSI Needs an Appeals Process that Works, September, 2013
Issue Brief: SSA's Failure to Process SSI Appeals Requests, January, 2104
Webinar: SSI Non-Disability Appeals: What isn't Working, June, 2013