What Is SSI?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program makes payments to people with low income who are age 65 or older, or who are blind or have a disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the SSI program. Even though Social Security manages the program, SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes. SSI is paid for with U.S. Treasury general funds. Benefits vary from state to state. Eligibility depends on how much you make (wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions) and on what you own. A part of your spouse’s income is also considered when determining eligibility.

If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships that you receive may not count. If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages that you use to pay for items or services to help you work. Also, Social Security does not count any wages that a blind person uses for work expenses.