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What You Need to Know About Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Disability Benefits

This article tells you about receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, and what to do if you disagree with any decision made.

Here, you will learn about Supplemental Security Income. You will learn how to apply, the eligibility requirements, and what documents are necessary.

Special thanks to the Social Security Administration for their contribution to this article.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

SSI is a benefit program that is federally funded and managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration. The program provides financial assistance in the form of monthly payments to people with limited income and few resources to help them meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. 

Who is SSI for?

SSI is for people who are 65 or older and for adults and children who are blind or disabled with limited income and little resources. 

How can I apply for SSI?

You can start the process by visiting the Social Security Administration website. After you complete the online process, a social security representative will be in touch to schedule an appointment to help you apply for benefits. If you are unable to use the online process, you can apply by phone by contacting your local Social Security office or calling 800-772-1213 between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing and use TTY equipment, you can call their TTY number at 800-325-0778. 

You can also visit your local Social Security office. To locate your local Social Security office, use their locator or call. 

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You must be at least 65 or blind or disabled; 

  • Have limited income (wages, pensions, etc.); 

  • Have limited resources (things you own); 

  • Be a citizen or a national of the U.S. or a non-citizen who meets certain requirements

  • Residence and citizenship: You must live in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

    • Exception: Children of military parent(s) assigned to permanent duty anywhere outside the U.S. or certain students temporarily abroad. 

Note: There are other factors that may affect your eligibility which include your marital status and bank balance. 

What documents will I need to apply for SSI?

  • Social Security number;  

  • Proof of age (documents showing your date of birth);  

  • Record of citizenship or alien status; 

  • Proof of income (tax returns or payroll stubs); 

  • Proof of resources (bank statements, vehicle registrations); 

  • Proof of living arrangements (lease agreement, property tax bill, utility bills) 

  • Medical sources (medical reports, contact information of medical providers); 

  • Work history (names of employers, hours worked, description of duties performed). 

For a full list of the necessary documents visit 

How much will the monthly payments be?

In 2023 the base monthly SSI payment is the same nationwide which is $914 for one person and $1,371 for a couple.  

Not everyone receives the same amount. The base monthly payments will vary depending on where and who you live with and income. You may also get more if you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment. You may also receive less if you or your family have other forms of income. 

How will I know when payments begin and how much they will be?

Before the Social Security Administration begins sending your monthly SSI payments, they will send a letter telling you when they will begin sending your payments and how much they will pay. 

What if I disagree with a decision made about my SSI?

If you disagree with any decision made about your SSI, you have the right to ask them to look at your case again. Whenever they send you a letter about your SSI, it will tell you what to do if you disagree.  

Remember that you have a right to appeal. Some lawyers specialize in this area of law. For a referral, call the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Service at 800-252-9690. Or contact your local Legal Aid office.   You can also contact the National Organization of Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) at or 845-682-1881.

What information must I report to the Social Security Administration?

You must report any of the changes listed below as they may affect your eligibility for SSI. 

  • Change of address. 

  • Change in living arrangements

  • Change in earned and unearned income, including a change in wages or net earnings from self-employment, including your spouse’s income if you are married and living together, and parents’ income if applying for a child. 

  • Change in resources including your spouse’s resources, if you are married and living together, and parents’ resources if applying for a child. 

  • Death of spouse or anyone in your household. 

  • Change in marital status (including any same-sex relationships). 

  • Change in citizenship or immigration status. 

  • Change in help with living expenses from friends or relatives. 

  • Eligibility for other benefits or payments. 

  • Admission to or discharge from an institution (such as a hospital, nursing home, or a correctional institution such as prison, jail, detention center, boot camp, etc,). 

  • Change in school attendance, if you are under age 22. 

  • Change in legal alien status. 

  • Sponsor (or sponsor’s spouse) changes of income, resources, or living arrangement for aliens. 

  • Leaving the U.S. for a full calendar month or for 30  consecutive days or more; or 

  • an unsatisfied felony or arrest warrant for escape from custody, flight to avoid prosecution or confinement, or flight-escape. 

Are there any specific changes I need to report if I am disabled?

Yes, you must report the following: 

How can I get more information on reporting changes?

See reporting responsibilities for more information on reporting changes. 

How can I get more information about SSI?

For more information, go to, which explains some of your rights and responsibilities when you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. 

You can also Contact Texas Health and Human Services at 800-252-8263. Ask to speak to a Benefits Counselor at your local Area Agency on Aging.  

Legal Hotline for Texans: 800-622-2520: Call the attorney-staffed legal hotline. Advice is free for Texans 60 and over or for anyone eligible for Medicare. 

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Related Forms

  • What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    This booklet from explains some of your rights and responsibilities when you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.