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What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a cash assistance program that provides minimum income to people who are aged, blind, or disabled. SSI is based on financial need. It's a program of last resort--you can apply for it only after you've filed for all other benefits for which you might be eligible, including Social Security. Because eligibility requirements are similar, people who receive SSI also qualify for food stamps and Medicaid.

You may be eligible for SSI benefits if you are age 65 or over, blind (regardless of age), or disabled (regardless of age), as long as your income and resources don't exceed the limits set by your state. To find out what your state requirements are, contact your local Social Security Administration office or call toll free at (800) 772-1213.