What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

SSI helps meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter for people who are elderly, blind, or have a disability, and who have little or no income. The program is administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Federal government funds SSI from general tax revenues. For more information, view the social security website at

Who is eligible?

People with disabilities are eligible to receive SSI if they have a limited income and limited resources. Children’s eligibility is determined on family income. At age 18, each person gains adult status, and the family’s income is no longer considered for eligibility requirements. The SSA has a Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool that can help you determine if you are eligible for SSI or other benefits.

How do I apply for SSI?

You should file as soon as you believe you or your child might be eligible; there is no waiting period. You will need to complete an application form with an SSA representative. The SSA manages the SSI and Medicare programs, and provides eligibility criteria information on benefits and services. Visit the SSA website at or call 800-772-1213. Contact an office in Prince George’s County at 301-344-0185 (Seabrook) or (Suitland).

You will eventually need to show proof of age, medical history records with the names and telephone numbers of all doctors and case workers involved, summary of work history in past 15 years with addresses and supervisors names, W-2 forms, bank statements and information about the home you live in such as the lease or mortgage. You will also have to show this information to be true before a decision on your eligibility can be made.

For more information about Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, and SSA, please visit the State Medical Programs page.