Supplemental Security Income

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What SSI Is

SSI is a government program that gives money to people who have low income and few resources and who are aged 65 or older, blind or disabled. You do not have to have worked, but there are citizenship and financial requirements.

What Income Is Considered

  • Income includes cash, checks, and gift items received, such as food and shelter.
  • It is divided into two groups:
    • Earned income – wages, net earnings from self-employment, certain royalties and monies from sheltered workshops.
    • Unearned income – Social Security benefits, workers’ or veterans’ compensation, pensions, support, annuities, rent and other income not earned.

How Income Is Considered

  • If you are married, your spouse’s income and resources are included.
  • If you are younger than age 18, part of your parents’ income and resources are included.
  • If you are a sponsored non-citizen, your sponsor’s income and resources may be included.
  • If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.

What Resources are Considered

  • Include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds.
  • Your resources must be worth less than $2000 as an individual and $3000 for a couple.
  • The following are not counted:
    • The home you live in and the land it is on.
    • Life insurances policies with a value of $1500 or less.
    • Your car.
    • Burial plots and burial funds up to $1500.

Income numbers may change so contact Social Security for current information.

How to Apply

At your local Social Security Administration office or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

What You Need to Apply

  • Social Security card or record of your Social Security number.
  • Birth certificate or other proof of your age.
  • Information about your home including mortgage or lease and landlord’s name.
  • Payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, burial fund records and information about your income and things you own.
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all your doctors, hospitals and clinics.
  • Proof of US citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
  • Your checkbook or other papers that show your bank, credit union or savings account number.

Please go to for detailed information.

Supplemental Security Income (PDF)

HH-41 6/17 Copyright 2013, Nationwide Children's Hospital