Social Security Administration Expands Outreach and Access for Supplemental Security Income

Social Security Administration

Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, recently announced that the agency has expanded its outreach to people in critical need of financial help who may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSI provides monthly payments to adults age 65 and older or to other adults – and children – with a disability or blindness who have limited income and financial resources. SSI helps pay for basic needs like rent, food, clothing, and medicine.

“Helping eligible people access critical benefits, including SSI, is part of Social Security’s core mission,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Underserved communities face additional challenges, like unreliable or no access to the internet and computers, that widen the divide. Social Security’s campaign strives to reach people in their communities to tell them about the eligibility criteria for SSI, and how to contact us online at www.ssa.gov/ssi or by phone for more information or an appointment to apply.” The campaign supports President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.

Social Security used data to identify and reach underserved communities in rural and urban areas across the country where it noted the greatest decline in SSI applications since the pandemic, and where the majority of people living in those zip codes are people of color and/or people living at or below the 150 percent Federal poverty threshold.

Social Security’s campaign uses a variety of ways to reach people, including radio and television public service announcements (PSA), radio ads, mailers, bus shelter and other large signs, flyers distributed to local stores, and printed publications in several language options.

Social Security also is reaching more people online through social media, digital, YouTube ads, and search engine marketing.

Individuals who receive SSI may qualify for other financial help, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), Medicaid, and discounted internet service through the Federal Trade Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program. Individuals who receive Social Security benefits may also be eligible for SSI.

People with limited income and financial resources, and with access to the internet, should visit www.ssa.gov/ssi to learn more about SSI eligibility and request an appointment to apply for benefits. People without access to the internet can call Social Security’s National 800 Number at 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative.

In addition to this campaign, Social Security recently proposed simplifications to the SSI program when people are receiving food assistance. The proposed changes will simplify the rules, making it easier to understand and comply with program requirements. This will save time for the public and Social Security and improve the equitable treatment of food assistance within the SSI program. Social Security accepted comments about the proposed rule through April 17, 2023.

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