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SSI Access & Eligibility

Resources to Connect Older Adults to SSI

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 The program is a key anti-poverty program, but its outdated rules and requirements keep out many of the people it is supposed to help.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.

SSI Access Series–Issue Brief: Improving Language Access for SSI and Social Security Beneficiaries, October 2022

SSI Access Series—Issue Brief: Ensuring Access to Assistance From State and Local Governments and Nonprofits, September 2022

Fact Sheet: SSI Exclusion for Pandemic Related Financial Assistance, June 2022

Report: SSA’s Reliance on Flawed Data Leads to People Losing SSI Benefits, April 2021

Social Security Administration: Understanding Supplemental Security Income, 2020 edition

Fact Sheet: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), updated 2019

Webinar: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program, April 2018

Advocate Guide: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the Supplemental Security Income Program, April 2018

Advocate Guide: Supplemental Security Income 101, March 2018

Webinar: Legal Basics: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), March 2017

Article: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income 101, February 2017 (originally published in Clearinghouse Review)

Social Security Act: 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381-1383f

SSI Regulations: 20 C.F.R. §§ 416.101 – 2227

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.

Fact Sheet: Settlement of SSI Non-Disability Appeals Case, Amin v. Kijakazi, April 2023

Issue Brief: SSA’s Failure to Process SSI Appeals Requests, January, 2104

Issue Brief: Why SSI Needs an Appeals Process that Works, September, 2013

Webinar: SSI Non-Disability Appeals: What isn’t Working, June, 2013

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