Supplemental Security Income

ImageSpecial Counsel Paul Nathanson addresses NASI The History and Promise of SSI seminar July 18, 2013.


Over eight million Americans, all of them at least age 65 or unable to work because of severe disabilities, rely on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for their survival.

The 2014 federal benefit rate is $721 per month for individuals (and $1,082 for couples). Many states supplement this and provide Medicaid benefits to recipients.  However, a SSI recipient cannot have more than $2,000 in resources ($3,000 for couples). And, in most states, someone must have less than $730 in monthly income in order to be eligible. SSI benefits can be reduced if someone receives in-kind support and maintenance such as food and/or housing, even from a family member.

Today, older adults who rely on SSI for their income security are deeper in poverty than when the program started. NSCLC supports efforts that would restore the SSI program so that it can — as President Nixon said the day he signed SSI into law — “mean a big step out of poverty and toward a life of dignity and independence.”

Read the story of Reneto Wilkins in NSCLC Helps who lost his SSI benefits when his savings exceeded the resource limit and was assessed $18,000 in overpayments for the months that it did.