2012 Annual Report of the SSI Program

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Congress established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in 1972 by amending the Social Security Act to include Title XVI of the Act, with payments beginning in 1974. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the program. SSI replaced the former Federal‑State programs of Old-Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind, and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands became eligible for SSI in January 1978.
In 2012 the SSI program provides a monthly Federal cash payment of $698 ($1,048 for a couple if both members are eligible) for an eligible person living in his or her own household and having no other countable income. Since 1975, these Federal SSI benefit rates have increased with the same cost-of-living adjustment 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 supplementation 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, SSA must submit a report on the SSI program to the President and Congress no later than May 30 of each year. This is the sixteenth 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 recipients 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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