Understanding Supplemental Security Income Introduction -- 2020 Edition


We created Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to inform beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries, advocates and other interested agencies and organizations about SSI eligibility requirements and processes. 

We hope this information will help people understand the eligibility requirements and the application process, and enable people to continue receiving SSI benefits for as long as they remain eligible.

Understanding SSI is general information and a reference tool.  It is not necessary for you to know everything in Understanding SSI.  You may simply refer to those sections that are most useful to you. 

If you have any questions while using Understanding SSI, please visit our website at: www.ssa.gov/.   You may also contact your local Social Security office or call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.  We can answer most of your questions on the phone.  We can help you find your local field office at: www.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

You should refer any potentially eligible individuals to us to apply for SSI or to get an answer to any question you may have.  If you have any doubts about a person's eligibility, always refer him or her to us immediately to avoid a possible loss in benefits.

Understanding SSI is not a complete review of all SSI related rules and policies.  It only provides general information and references.  It does not replace the information available to you by contacting your local Social Security office or our toll-free number.  You must contact us for individual case information.

The Understanding SSI publication is available online at

You may also access this publication in Spanish “Comprendiendo el programa de Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario” at www.ssa.gov/espanol/comprendiendoSSI

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