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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Posted on:11/6/2012
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program was passed by Congress in 1972 and became effective in 1974. SSI is a guaranteed income program for the aged, disabled, and blind.


The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program was passed by Congress in 1972 and became effective in 1974. SSI is a guaranteed income program for the aged, disabled, and blind.

 

The program was designed to establish a national minimum level of income for this select group of Americans. It is a guaranteed income program of last resort. That is, the aged, disabled, and blind are guaranteed a certain level of monthly income. If they have less income than the guaranteed amount, SSI pays the difference.

 

SSI has become a very important welfare program. It not only provides over millions of recipients a month with cash benefits, but SSI recipients are also frequently enrolled in Medicaid and other welfare programs such as the food stamp program. SSI has grown from about 4 million recipients in 1974 to more than 10 million today.

 

The income level guaranteed to SSI recipients is adjusted yearly. Most recipients have income of some type, often from Social Security, general assistance, and even modest earnings. For example many of the SSI recipients are receiving Social Security benefits, others have other unearned income, and a few have earnings.

 

The SSI benefits are lower if the recipient lives in the household of another person. An individual who takes care of one or more SSI beneficiaries is also entitled to assistance. If they care for them in their own home, they receive more than if they care for them in the household of another person.


  
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