Chapter 21: Supplemental Security Income

Table Of Contents


  1. What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?
  2. Who administers the SSI program?
  3. Purpose and Basic Principles
  4. Where does the SSI program operate?
  5. When are SSI benefits paid?
  6. How are SSI benefits financed?
  7. State Supplementation of Basic SSI Benefits
  8. Medicaid
  9. Food Stamps
  10. Were you eligible for assistance under a Federal/State matching grant program for the aged, blind, or disabled in December 1973?
  11. SSI Definitions


2111. What are the general eligibility requirements for SSI?
2112. What are the categories of eligibility?
2113. Eligibility Criteria Based on Need
2114. What are other requirements for SSI eligibility?
2115. Citizenship/Alien Status
2116. Absence from the United States
2117. Filing for Other Benefits
2119. Are fugitive felons eligible for SSI?
2120. Are probation and parole violators eligible for SSI?
2121. Institutionalization
2122. Marriage
2123. Eligible Couples
2124. Eligibility Under More Than One Category
2125. Continuing Eligibility
2126. Recipient Reporting Requirements
2127. Fraud


  1. How does income affect SSI benefits?
  2. How is income defined for SSI purposes?
  3. What is NOT income for SSI purposes?
  4. Countable Income
  5. How Income is Counted
  6. When Income is Counted
  7. What is earned income?
  8. What are the earned income exclusions?
  9. What is “unearned income”?
  10. What are the unearned income exclusions?
  11. Assistance Related to Disasters
  12. Can home energy or support and maintenance assistance be excluded from income?
  13. In-Kind Income
  14. What is “in-kind support and maintenance”?
  15. Valuation of In-kind Support and Maintenance
  16. One-Third Reduction Rule
  17. Presumed Maximum Value Rule
  18. Temporary Absences and In-kind Support and Maintenance
  19. Acting as an “Agent”
  20. Tables of Federal Benefit Rates, One-third Reduction Values, and Presumed Maximum Values


  1. Role of Resources
  2. What is considered a resource for SSI purposes?
  3. Liquid and Non-liquid Resources
  4. What is NOT considered a resource?
  5. Ownership of Resources
  6. Countable Resources
  7. How Resources are Valued
  8. When are resources valued?
  9. What are the resource exclusions?
  10. Exclusion of an Automobile or Other Vehicle
  11. Is property needed for self-support excluded from resources?
  12. Life Insurance
  13. Do burial spaces count as resources?
  14. Burial Funds
  15. Resources Affected by a Disaster
  16. Real Property that Cannot be Sold
  17. Conditional Payments Despite Excess Resources
  18. Is your SSI eligibility affected if you dispose of a resource below its market value?
  19. What are the statutory resources limits?


  1. Deeming of Income and Resources
  2. Deeming from an Ineligible Spouse to an Eligible Individual
  3. Deeming from a Parent to a Child Under Age 18
  4. Deeming from a Sponsor to an Alien
  5. Deeming from an Essential Person to an Eligible Qualified Individual

  7. Special Provisions for Converted Recipients

Work Incentives

  1. What is the purpose of work incentives for the blind and disabled?
  2. Continued Benefits for Participants in a Program of Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment, Training, or Other Support Service
  3. Impairment-Related Work Expenses
  4. Work Expenses of the Blind
  5. Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)
  6. Special Cash Benefits to Disabled Individuals Who Engage in SGA
  7. Medicaid While Working


  1. What is the Federal SSI payment amount?
  2. State Supplementary Payments
  3. Computation of Payments
  4. Retrospective Monthly Accounting
  5. Proration of SSI Payments
  6. Windfall Offset
  7. Interim Assistance Reimbursement
  8. Direct Field Office Payments
  9. Presumptive Blindness or Presumptive Disability Payments

Determinations, Appeals And Reopenings

  1. Initial Determinations
  2. What administrative actions are NOT initial determinations?
  3. How does the appeals process work?
  4. Reconsideration
  5. Hearing
  6. Appeals Council Review
  7. What is the time limit for filing for civil action in a Federal District Court?
  8. Can the time limit for filing an appeal or hearing be extended?
  9. Reopening Determinations/Decisions Under the Rules of Administrative Finality

Now that you have become familiar with the Table of Contents of Chapter 21 of the Handbook, the following is a summary of each section in Chapter 21. As noted previously, this is only a summary and in order for you to be completely familiar with Chapter 21 of the Handbook it is important that you go directly to the page of the Supplemental Social Security Handbook on the SSA website and reading each section including the subsections. You are welcome to Contact Us for assistance as well.