Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Basics

If you have a disability, are blind, or are over age 65 and you also have low income and limited resources, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

If you qualify for SSI, you get monthly payments to help you pay for your basic needs. A person who is single can get up to $943 per month in benefits. In Minnesota, many people who qualify for SSI also get Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), Medical Assistance (MA), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

If you get SSI benefits and start working, you'll probably end up better off financially. SSI's rules are designed to help you find work and make sure that your total income will be higher after you get a job.

This article looks in detail at SSI’s rules for adults ages 18 through 64. Learn more about the rules for children under 18 in DB101’s Benefits for Young People article.

Don't get SSI and SSDI mixed up

Social Security has two disability benefits programs with very similar names:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) gives monthly payments to people with disabilities who have low income and low resources. You do not need to have worked in the past to get SSI. SSI is explained in this article.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) gives monthly payments to people with disabilities who qualify because they used to work. Learn more in DB101’s SSDI article.

Some people qualify for both programs at the same time. If you get benefits from Social Security, but aren’t sure which ones you get, open a free my Social Security account or order a free Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) at your local Social Security office or by calling 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY). You can also request a benefits lookup using the DB101 Vault.

Watch this short video to learn more about SSI's basic rules.


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