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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you don't make a lot of money and need help getting by, find out if SSI can help you.

mom and baby

What is Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays monthly checks to people who:

  • Have a disability
  • Don't have or make a lot of money

People who get SSI can get food stamps and Medicaid, too. Medicaid helps pay doctor and hospital bills. If your child's SSI stops, he can keep getting Medicaid.

Who can get SSI?
To get SSI, your child has to:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident
  • Have a disability
    • This means that your child has a problem with his mind or body that will last more than 12 months.
    • To see if your child is disabled, the government will look at how your child's hearing loss and/or other needs affect his everyday life.

The Social Security office will also look at how much money YOU have:

  • What you own (this has to be less than $2,000 for one person, or $3,000 for a couple). This includes:
    • Real estate (this doesn't include your home, or the land it's on)
    • Any bank accounts you have
    • Cash
    • Stocks and bonds
  • How much income you have. This includes:
    • Money from your job, Social Security benefits and pensions.
    • Free food, clothing or shelter that is given to you. This is called "in-kind" income.

But your child can get SSI on his own, too. Once he turns 18, the government just looks at how much money your child has. (This must be less than $2,000.) So your child can apply for SSI just before he turns 18.
But he must meet the adult requirements for a disability.

How much money does your child get?
How much money your child gets depends on what state you live in.
SSI pays the same amount all over the country. But many states add their own money to it. Call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at
1-800-772-1213 to find out how much your state would give you.

Your child could also work and get SSI. Call your local Social Security office to find out about these programs.

How do you get SSI?
Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for SSI.
Or visit your local Social Security office.

Learn more about SSI

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NIDCD

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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