Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI and Other Government Programs -- 2024 Edition


Many people who are potentially eligible for SSI benefits do not know how receiving SSI affects their benefits or payments from other government and State programs.


In most States, if you are an SSI recipient, you may be automatically eligible for Medicaid; an SSI application is also an application for Medicaid. In other States, you must apply for and establish your eligibility for Medicaid with another agency. In these States, we will direct you to the office where you can apply for Medicaid.

Please see the Medicaid website at www.medicaid.gov/ for consumer information.


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides help for low-income households to buy the food needed for good health. If you receive SSI, you may be eligible to receive SNAP assistance to purchase food.

If you are applying for or receiving SSI, you are able to get SNAP information and a SNAP application form at your local Social Security office.

If all other members of your household apply for or receive SSI, and you apply for or receive SSI, we will help you complete a SNAP application and forward it to the SNAP office for processing.  If you and all other members of your household apply for or receive SSI and already receive SNAP, you may be able to complete the SNAP forms for a recertification at your local Social Security office.  SSI benefits count in computing SNAP eligibility.

In some States, the SSI application may serve as an application for SNAP if the individual lives alone. Information is available about SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10100.pdf on our website.


The TANF program provides cash block grants to States. TANF gives states the flexibility to determine TANF eligibility rules and to set TANF payment amounts.

In a household receiving TANF, we pay SSI only to adults or children who are blind or have qualifying disabilities, or age 65 or older member(s).


Medicaid provides free health coverage to most low-income children through State children's health insurance programs.  Contact your State or local medical assistance (Medicaid) office, social service office, or welfare office for more information.


Some States offer state or local assistance based on need to aged, blind, and people with disabilities through the State welfare department.  The State may require you to apply for SSI if you receive state or local assistance based on need.  If we approve you for SSI, your State or local public assistance payments will usually stop.  Your State may be entitled to collect part of your retroactive SSI benefits as repayment for the money they paid you while we processed your SSI claim.


Many people receive both SSI and Social Security benefits.

Medicaid is linked to receipt of SSI benefits in most States. Medicare is linked to entitlement to Social Security benefits. It is possible to get both Medicare and Medicaid.

States pay the Medicare premiums for people who receive SSI benefits if they are also eligible for Medicaid.

If you get SSI and have Medicare, you will also be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs without filing a separate application. See www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/ on our website.


You may qualify for help with certain Medicare costs under the programs below if:

    small blue and black arrowyou receive Medicare; and

    small blue and black arrowyour income and resources are limited

    NOTEThese limits vary in some states.

Contact your State, county, or local medical assistance office, social service office, or human services office to find out if you qualify for Medicare Savings Programs.  To get the phone number for your State Medicaid office, visit www.medicare.gov/talk-to-someone, and then scroll down the click page and find the box that reads, “Get help with costs.”  Click on “Find Your State Office” in the box.  This will take you to a page titled, “Medicaid and CHIP How-To Information.”  Scroll down the page until you see the map of the United States, and simply click on your state in the map.  Your state Medicaid agency’s name and telephone number will appear.

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program

The QMB program helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries by paying Medicare Part A and/or Part B premiums. Medicare providers are not allowed to bill you for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

  • Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program or Qualifying Individual (QI-1) Program

The SLMB and QI–1 programs will pay Medicare Part B premiums only.

Your resources should not exceed $9,430 if you are single or $14,130 if you are a couple.  Several items, like your home and a car are not counted.  Also, some States use higher resource limits and some states may have no resource limit at all.

  • Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI)

The QDWI program will pay Medicare Part A premiums only.

If you are under age 65, disabled and no longer entitled to free Medicare Hospital Insurance Part A because you successfully returned to work, you may be eligible for a State program that helps pay your Medicare Part A monthly premium.

To be eligible for this help, you must:

    small blue and black arrowcontinue to have a disabling impairment;

    small blue and black arrowsign up for premium Hospital Insurance (Part A);

    small blue and black arrowhave limited income;

    small blue and black arrownot have resources worth more than $4,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a couple. Your State will not count the home where you live, usually one car and $1,500 in burial expenses (per person) as resources; and

    small blue and black arrownot already be eligible for Medicaid.

    NOTESome states have different limits.

To find out more about the QDWI program, contact your local, county, or State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or Medicaid office.

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