What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides a monthly benefit to an adult or child who meets citizenship/alien status and is disabled, blind or aged (65 years or older) with limited income and resources.
  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers SSI, but this benefit is not based on the earnings record of an individual, unlike retirement Social Security and Social Security Disability.  It is based on need to help with food, clothing and shelter.
  • It is a requirement when applying for Medicaid to also apply for any potential benefit that one may be entitled.  This includes applying for Social Security benefits.
  • Persons who have worked enough quarters to receive Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement whose monthly benefit is less than the Maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment may also receive SSI to bring their payment to the maximum (Federal max. 1/1/16: $733 per person, $1100 couple)
  • Those that qualify for SSI are particularly vulnerable given the requirements of the program and therefore, generally lack the tools or ability to apply and obtain the benefits on their own.  Their need to understand their potential eligibility and assistance to navigate through the application process is greater.

What is the benefit to you?

  • While SSI recipients generally have less income than the average Medicaid individual, hospitals and providers can still benefit from patients that are entitled to both of these programs with potential disproportionate share funds and lack of patient spend down.
  • ClaimAid advocates can assist your patients from the very first encounter, screening for potential eligibility, filing applications and following up through the application resolution for both Medicaid and SSI benefits.
  • SSI is a source of income that eligible disabled and/or aged indigent patients may not be aware exists that could assist with their basic needs.  Their eligibility for SSI could also potentially increase your facility’s disproportionate share qualifications, which provides additional revenue.
  • It is an invaluable outreach opportunity to help the disadvantaged in your community.