2008 Annual Report of the SSI Program

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The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program was established by Congress in 1972, with payments beginning in January 1974. It is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSI replaced the former Federal‑State programs of Old-Age Assistance (OAA), Aid to the Blind (AB), and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD) in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands became eligible for SSI in January 1978.
Under the SSI program, each eligible person living in his/her own household and having no other count­able income is provided in 2008 a monthly Federal cash payment of $637 ($956 for a couple if both mem­bers are eligible). Since 1975, these Federal SSI benefit rates have been increased by applying the same cost-of-living adjustment that has been applied to benefits under the Old‑Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. In addition to setting a Federal benefit standard, the legislation establishing SSI also permitted individual States to supplement the Federal payment with an additional monthly amount. As described in section III, these State supplementary payments can be either voluntary at the option of the individual States or, in certain cases, mandatory under requirements in effect when the SSI program began.
Under section 231 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Commissioner of Social Security is required to submit a report on the SSI program to the President and Congress no later than May 30 of each year. This is the twelfth annual report on the SSI program. The leg­islative mandate requires that the report include:
Historical and current data relating to (1) claims intake and dispositions at all levels of decision mak­ing; (2) demographic information about recipients, including program cost and prior enrollment in other public benefit programs; (3) redeterminations, continuing disability reviews, and utilization of work incentives; (4) administrative costs; and (5) State supplementation program operations;
25‑year projections of future participation rates and program costs;
In addition, the legislation specified that the report may include views of the SSI program by the Social Security Advisory Board.
Much of the required information is the subject of extensive ongoing research. In responding to each of the specific requests for information, every effort has been made to provide the best information available at this time. SSA will continue to make improvements upon such information, in order to provide the Presi­dent and Congress with the input necessary to effectively manage this important part of our society’s social safety net.

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