We created Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to inform beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries, advocates and other interested agencies and organizations about SSI eligibility requirements and processes. 

We hope this information will help people understand the application process, the eligibility requirements, and be able to continue receiving SSI benefits for as long as they remain eligible.

Understanding SSI is a training manual and reference tool. It is not necessary for you to know everything in Understanding SSI. You may simply refer to those sections that are most useful to you.

If you have any questions while using Understanding SSI, please visit our website at: You may also contact your local Social Security office, or call our toll–free number 1–800–772–1213. We can answer most of your questions on the phone. We can help you find your local field office at:

You should refer any potentially eligible individuals to us to apply for SSI benefits or to get an answer to any question you may have. If you have any doubts about a person's eligibility, always refer him or her to us immediately to avoid a possible loss in benefits.

Understanding SSI is not a complete review of all SSI related rules and policies. It provides general information and does not replace the experts at Social Security. You must contact us for individual case information.

The Understanding SSI publication is available online at:

You may also access this information in Spanish, "Comprendiendo Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario," at:
(1.24 MB pdf)Obtenga el Acróbata Accesible de Adobe.

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