Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSDI), Medicaid or Medicare at our Tribal Social Services Office?

If your Tribal Social Services Office receives scheduled visits from Social Security Administration (SSA) people you can apply when SSA visits the office.

If there are no scheduled visits, your Tribal Social Services Office can help you with the SSA forms and gathering the information you need to complete them. Tribal Social Services Offices are gaining more training and knowledge of SSA programs. They can help you contact Social Security directly by telephone or by visiting your local Social Security Field Office.

Is there a way of getting an increase to my SSI money if my Individual Indian Money Account (IIM) moneys are not distributed as scheduled? Should I contact my SSA representative?

If you have not received your IIM moneys as scheduled, contact SSA and let them determine if this will affect your SSI money.

If I receive an annual cash allotment from my tribe (for whatever reason), do I need to report it to SSA?

If you receive annual cash allotments from your tribe while on the SSI program, these moneys need to be reported to help to avoid overpayment/underpayment situations. Different tribal moneys are counted differently. It is important to contact SSA to see how or if these moneys will be counted.

Will my annual Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) cash allotment affect my eligibility for SSI or SSDI cash benefits?

Annual Tribal or BIA Cash allotments can affect eligibility for SSI. Report the allotments to SSA and let them determine if or how they will affect your benefits.

Will my distributions from an Alaska native village or village corporation affect my eligibility for SSI or SSDI cash benefits?

Annual distributions from Alaska native villages or village corporations can affect eligibility for SSI.  Report the allotments to SSA and let them determine how they may or may not be counted.

Are my BIA IIM moneys counted differently than my revenue distribution (casino) moneys?

BIA IIM and revenue distribution can be counted differently depending upon the type of disbursement made to you. It is important to report these to SSA for determination. SSA will explain how they may or may not be counted.

Can I go to my Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation program to use my Ticket?

Yes, if your tribe has a vocational rehabilitation program you can use your Ticket there.

You can find more information about Social Security's Ticket to Work program at

How does Medicare and Medicaid work with my eligibility for medical services under Indian Health Service (IHS)? Can I use all of them at the same time?

Medicare and Medicaid can be used at an IHS clinic or reservation hospital for medical services the Indian Health Service does not cover. Additional information about Medicare and Medicaid can be found at, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

Can I still go to my community based IHS clinic or reservation hospital?

You can still go to your IHS clinic or reservation hospital. You can also go to a different clinic or hospital that accepts Medicare/Medicaid.

For additional information about the Indian Health Service please check their Frequently Asked Questions page.