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What is Supplemental Security Income?

The Social Security Administration defines Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI.
Published: December 9, 2012
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Q: What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

A: SSI provides monthly income to people 65 or older, blind or disabled, who also have limited income and financial resources. To be eligible, an individual also must be a U.S. citizen and resident of the United States or a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence. There are, however, some noncitizens granted a special immigration status who are eligible. To get SSI, an individual's financial resources (savings and assets) cannot be more than $2,000 ($3,000, if married). For more information, read our publications, Supplemental Security Income or Understanding Supplemental Security Income. Both are available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Are benefits taxed?

Q: Are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits subject to federal income tax?

A: No. SSI payments are not subject to federal taxes. If you get SSI, you will not receive an annual form SSA-1099 from Social Security. However, your Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.