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What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and
how can I apply?


SSI Publication # 5-11000


  2. If you are age 18 or older we may consider you “disabled” if you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including an emotional or learning problem) which:
    1. results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity; and
    2. can be expected to result in death; or
    3. has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

    We use the term substantial gainful activity (SGA) to describe a level of work activity and earnings that is both substantial and gainful. SGA involves performance of significant physical or mental activities, or a combination of both. For your work activity to be substantial you do not need to work full time. Work activity performed on a part-time basis may also be SGA. If your impairment is anything other than blindness, earnings averaging over $1,070 a month (for the year 2014) generally demonstrate SGA.

    Gainful work activity is:

    small blue ballwork performed for pay or profit, or

    small blue ballwork of a nature generally performed for pay or profit; or

    small blue ballwork intended for profit, whether or not a profit is realized.

  4. Is SSI Title XVI?
  5. Resource & Income Limits 
    1. August 2021 COVID changes
  6. SSI Home Page – Table of Contents on Social Security Website
  7. Medicaid – Medi-Cal is generally automatic.
    1. Extra Payments for SSI in CA # 11125 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Basics.

webcast— download the slides here, read the Chapter Summary here, or view the recording here.

Here are additional NCLER resources that you may find helpful:

You can find additional training materials on the NCLER Website.



free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.


free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.

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California Corona Virus Response

  • Emergency food and food benefits Get help buying groceries with the NEW Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT) card: With schools closed due to COVID-19, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals can get up to $365 in food benefits. Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals AND do not participate in CalFresh, Medi-Cal, or Foster Care can apply starting May 22nd – June 30th.    For more information   or :
  • California began allowing online food purchasing with EBT benefits! You may use your EBT card on Amazon and/or Walmart to purchase groceries. More retailers to be added in the future. For more information

Family Services 

24/7 Hotlines

Dial 2-1-1 from a cell phone or landline to get connected to local resources, it will ask for zip code and give a list of options.

Dial 988 for Mental Health Emergencies starting July 2022 Calif Health Line 1.2021 *

Representative #Payee

  • Gets your Social Security check and manages the money $$$
  •   Home Page
    • Social Security’s Representative Payment Program provides benefit payment management for our beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
    • We appoint a suitable representative payee (payee) who manages the payments on behalf of the beneficiaries. Generally, we look for family or friends to serve as payees. When friends or family members are not able to serve as payees, we look for qualified organizations
  • FAQ’s for Representative Payee  


6 Steps to apply for Social Security #Disability

#Attorney  's that can help you through the Social Security Disability maze

SSI #Resources & Income Limits

The Aged & Disabled  Medi-Cal program uses SSI countable income rules  as well as a few extra rules you should know. For more information, visit our webpages on the  SSI & Medi Cal programs, and follow the various links on this page


July 1, 2022, California  will raise the asset limit in the Medi-Cal programs serving older adults and people with disabilities to $130,000 for an individual and $65,000 for each additional family member.

no sooner than January 1, 2024, the state will eliminate the asset test completely. CA Health Care Advocates *

  1. Have less than $2,000 in Countable assets for an individual ($3,000 for a couple).
    1. Medi-Cal property limitations.
    2.  asset questionnaire
    3. CANHR simpler list
    4. CANHR Fact Sheet
    5. Understanding Medi-Cal’s Asset Test for Seniors and People With Disabilities
    6. Western Poverty Law 
    7. Nolo - SSI Income & Asset Limits
    8. Income SSA.Gov
      1. SSA Site
    9. Will my settlement affect my government benefits?  VIDEO
      1. test amendment
    11. california
    12. FAQ's
    13. Our webpage on SSI Resources & Income
  2. Have less than $1,271 - 123% of FPL  in countable monthly income for an individual ($1,719 for a couple). ca health ADFPL    *  AB 715 Fact Sheet * Western Poverty Law  * 
    1. Share of Cost if income is too high, but you qualify on asset test?

Is Medi-Cal  #automatic  linked for SSI – Supplemental Security Benefit beneficiaries – recipients?

***Yes,  according to

Many individuals receive SSI due to poverty (over 65) and others receive SSI due to disability.

Visit our webpage on Medicaid Medi-Cal  benefits which can cover items like prescription medication, transportation, and home-based care and dental.


What if you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes?

See Table of Contents on SSI Home Page

See our page on definition of household.

Links & Resources

Disability Benefits 101 on SDI  *  SSI *

Our webpage on

FAQ’s “SSI – Medi-Cal automatic qualification”

  • i lost my medical [Medi-Cal] card that i got with my ssi  how do i get a new card?
    • See prior FAQ
    • Did Medi Cal assign you to a private insurance company? Then you would check their website.
  • My brother and sister-in-law are on Medi-Cal… Can they both get SSI…they have no other income except SS?
    • I don’t quite understand your question. If they are disabled and qualify for SSI, then Medi-Cal is automatic.
    • What do you mean by SS income? Please be specific.
    • Maybe you are asking if SSI has income limits, as opposed to Medi-Cal. See the links & brochures on this page.
  • I am a menifee ca resident receiving ssi..  when my wife receive her ssi this jan 2020, i now received a letter informing me my medi-cal will be stopped jan 31, 2020.. ..  why is this ?
    • My guess would be that you are over the MAGI Income Limit 138% for Medi Cal.
    • Do you qualify for an exemption under the Pickle Amendment?
    • Please send us a copy of the letter and your latest tax return. We are prohibiting from accepting hearsay evidence.
  • I went from SSI TO SSDI as a disabled adult child or whatever its called  i was disabled before 22 years old. i got ssi at 20  my dad retired fully last December – next thing you know they moved me from SSI TO SSDI
    • It’s my understanding that SSDI is a better program to be on than SSI, mainly that it pays more income.  While SSI provides automatic enrollment in Medi-Cal, SSDI gives you automatic enrollment into Medicare, after 2 years.   Check our Medi-Cal eligibility pages, Western Poverty Law, the Guide to Medi-Cal Programs and our resources page.
  • What about this document on the pickle amendment on the SCDD State Council on Disability Website?


Social Security Disability Insurance #SSDI


The  Social Security disability program SSDI  for an average family is equivalent to a private disability insurance policy worth over $233,000.  Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. ( #10029)

Once you have received Disability benefits for two years you will automatically be covered under Medicare  Parts A & B # 10029 * (there is a $170 premium for Part B – If you are low income there may be ways to get that paid for you) and we can then help you enroll in a

If you’re interested in Medicare Advantage Plan (NO PREMIUM!), Part D Rx and Medicare Supplemental Medi-Gap Plans visit those webpages and contact us   be sure to contact us RIGHT away, as there are deadlines!

Resources, Links & Bibliography

“Social Security Disability – SSDI”

  • I was disabled as a #child, before age 22 and have nothing or very little in work credits.  Can I get SSDI and then Medicare based on my parents or grandparents earnings?
  • I am gathering info for a friend who is late 30’s and is experiencing severe medical symptoms.   He is seeing a neurologist and currently undergoing tests.   At worst its ALS, at best MS.   I have some questions referring to SSDI, SDI and unemployment and if those benefits are taxable income.
    • Everything I know about SSDI is on this page,  SDI and unemployment is on my website.  I’m in the business of enrolling people in health insurance plans, life insurance, long term care, etc.
    • Here’s other pages that might be relevant…
  • I’m 66 on sick leave and not retired yet.   Can I qualify for SSDI.  I don’t want to start regular Social Security until I’m 67 in February 2020
  • Due to a disabling work accident, I retired at age 60 in 2015 and started receiving Social Security Disability benefits.   I thought the MPIPHP pension/health plan included a prescription plan, making Medicare Part D unnecessary.  However, my most recent SSDI 1099 indicates $403 was deducted for Part D. Before I spend a few days on hold with SSI, can you please set me straight?
  • I am “Retired with Disability” from CalStrs  I also have enough quarters in to get some social security.  Since I am disabled, can I get SSDI and then Medicare insurance?  I am 58-yrs old.
    • Yes, it appears that you can get SSDI in addition to your CalStrs retirement. However, there is a limit of 80% of your average current earnings. See excerpt from Nolo Guide to Social Security Disability. For more detail and explanation. It’s quite complicated. Check out the attorney’s we have listed above.
    • Yes, it does appear that if you do get SSDI, you will have Medicare after 2 years from when you were entitled to it.
    • Let use know if you want to check out Medicare Advantage plans.

#Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans (PDF) #12026

Watch Steve's Video Seminar

Insurance Companies get a fee from the Federal Government, when you enroll in an MAPD plan.  MAPD Plans must cover all A & B services Medicare.Gov *

That's why the premium is very low or ZERO!

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Travel Insurance

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HOW DOES DEEMING – Considering Parents Income WORK FOR A CHILD?


The term deeming means –  identifies the process of considering another person’s income and resources to be available for meeting an SSI claimant’s (or recipient’s) basic needs of food and shelter. *

If a child is under age 18, not married, and lives at home with parent(s) who do not receive SSI benefits, we may consider a portion of the parents’ income and resources as if they were available to the child. We may also count a portion of a stepparent’s income and resources if the child lives with both a parent and a stepparent (or an adoptive parent and a stepparent). We also do this when a child is temporarily away at school, returns home during weekends, holidays or during the summer and remains subject to parental control.

We make deductions from deemed income for parents and for other children living in the home. After we subtract these deductions, we use the remaining amount to decide if the child meets the SSI income and resource requirements for a monthly benefit.

NOTE For more information, see the SSI Spotlight on Deeming Parental Income and Resources.




Deeming from the parent stops when a child attains age 18, marries, or no longer lives with a parent. Deeming does not apply, and we may pay up to $30 plus the applicable State supplement when:

small blue and black arrowa disabled child receives a reduced SSI benefit while in a medical treatment facility; and

small blue and black arrowthe child is eligible for Medicaid under a State home care plan; and

small blue and black arrowdeeming would otherwise cause ineligibility for SSI benefits.

Also, we do not consider the income of a parent for deeming purposes if the parent receives a Public Income Maintenance payment (PIM) such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and his or her other income was used to compute the PIM payment.

If either child or parent is temporarily absent from the household (less than 60 days), the rules about deemed income still apply. child-ussi

In–Kind Income is food or shelter that you get for free or less than its fair market value.


Supplemental Security Income # 11125

Ticket to Work Program

#Disability SSI & SSDI Publications, Resources & Links


Social Security Publications relating to Disability, SSI, SSDI



  1. What must I do to Qualify?
    1. Must be total & permanent disability
  2. What is Social Security's eligibility process
  3. Where is Social Security's home page for disability
  4. Can I get a Disability "Starter Kit?
  5. Tell me more about the Ticket to Work Program which gives you more choice in obtaining the services one needs to be able to go back to work and achieve your employment goals.
  6. Where can I get more disability information?
  7. Can I get an estimate of my retirement benefits? Sample Calculation
  1. Disability Benefits


Medicare Coverage


Factors in Evaluating 

Table of Contents


600. Who qualifies for disability determinations?
601. What is a “medically determinable” impairment?
602. Impairment Lasting or Expected to Last at Least 12 Months
603. Definition of Substantial Gainful Activity
604. Independent Determinations Under the Social Security Act
605. Does SSA make disability determinations on a disability-rating schedule?


606. Medical and Other Evidence as Basis for Decision of “Not Disabled”
607. Medical Evidence as Basis for Decision of “Disabled” -- Listing of Impairments


608. What if your condition does not meet or medically equal a listing?
609. Evaluation Considering Age, Education, and Work Experience
611. Does your employment condition affect a disability determination?


613. Are you considered disabled if you are receiving treatment for an impairment?
614. Evidence of Disability
615. Categories of Evidence
616. Consultative Examinations
  Compassionate Allowances program identifies claims where the applicant’s disease or condition clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability.


617. Importance of Substantial Gainful Activity
618. How does work at the substantial gainful activity level affect disability?
619. Definition of “Activity”
620. Significance of Earnings
621. How are your earnings as a self-employed person considered in determining substantial gainful activity?


622. When are continuing disability reviews conducted?
623. When does disability end?

Parents & Care Givers

Check out our webpage on getting your own private disability coverage, in addition to Social Security Disability or SDI State Disability Coverage





Call Social Security 1-800-772-1213

How Work Affects SSI and SSDI:

  • Call Disability Rights California 1-800-776-5746
  • Call the Ticket to Work Help Line 1-866-968-7842
  • Contact a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) counselor

How does being incarcerated – Jail, #Prison affect Social Security or SSI Benefits?

How do you get benefits reinstated?

If you’re receiving SSI, your payments are suspended while you’re in prison.  Your payments can be reinstated in the month you’re released.   However, if your confinement lasts for 12 consecutive months or longer, your eligibility for SSI benefits will terminate and you must file a new application for benefits.

If Social Security suspends your disability or SSI benefits because you were in prison, you can request for Social Security to reinstate your benefits. You’ll need to contact Social Security and provide a copy of your official release documents  before they can act on your request.

For SSI beneficiaries, benefits are terminated when the person is incarcerated for a year or more.

Forms to Get one released from Prison

Which prison? Prisons

Is he on SSI or SSDI?

Were benefits suspended or terminated?

Was he getting benefits before?

Does the prison have a pre-release agreement with Social Security?

Please read this pamphlet from Social Security 10504 

get back your social security benefits

A prerelease agreement is a written or verbal agreement between an institution and SSA to cooperate in the processing of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications under the prerelease procedure. For a complete description of prerelease agreements see SI 00520.910 – Prerelease Agreements – Institutionalization.

After you know your release date, notify someone at your facility that you want to start your SSI payments or Social Security benefits. The institution then will notify us if you are likely to meet the requirements for benefits. We will get an application from you several months before your anticipated release. That way, we can begin processing your application. Your benefits can start as soon as possible after your release.
If your institution does not have a prerelease agreement with the local Social Security office:
After you know your anticipated release date, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Tell the representative you are scheduled to be released from an institution and want to apply for benefits. Please have your Social Security number handy. We will set up an appointment with your local Social Security office to take your application when you are released.

Social Security and Health Care Benefits for the  Incarcerated 

This fact sheet describes

#Work and Disability

Disability Benefits Brochure # 10029

We base your SSI payments on how much other income you have. When your other income goes up, your SSI payments usually go down. When you earn more than the SSI limit, your payments will stop for those months. But, your payments will start again for any month your income drops to less than the SSI limits. Be sure to tell us if your earnings drop, or if you stop working.

If your only income is SSI, and the money you make from your job, we don’t count the first $85 of your monthly earnings. Each month, we reduce your SSI benefits 50 cents for every dollar that you earn over $85.

Example: You work and earn $1,000 in a month; and your only income comes from your earnings and your SSI.
$915 divided by 2 = $457.50

We would take $457.50 from your SSI payment.

You may be eligible for a plan to achieve self-support that allows you to use money and resources for a specific work goal. These funds don’t count when we figure out how your current income and resources affect your benefits.  Learn more — Working While Disabled 10095

#Working while disabled # 10095

working while disabled

Red Book – – Employment Supports for those on SSI & SSDI # 64-030   60 pages  HTML 

Red Book Social Security Working for those on SSI & SSDI

14 comments on “SSI – Supplemental Security Benefits – Automatic Medi Cal – SSDI

  1. Do I qualify for being permantley disabled as My placard for my vehicle is “permanently disabled”. I have chronic fatigue and suffer from anxiety and PTSD (caused by being stalked by an ex boyfriend for years).

    • Who can get Social Security disability benefits?

      Social Security pays benefits to people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.

      Read more on how to qualify…Publication 10029 *

      Let’s look at the definition of impairment expected to last at least 12 months

      When Does Your Impairment Meet The 12-Month Duration Requirement?

      To meet the duration requirement, you must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months in a row. Although your condition may not have lasted for 12 months at the time we decide you are disabled, the duration requirement may be met because we expect medical recovery to occur after the 12-month period (see �507.1). This is provided your impairment keeps you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (see �603.1) for at least 12 months in a row.

  2. Hello,

    I have been on SDI State Disability Insurance CA since 11/02/2020, my Doctor has just submitted medical certification to the EDD Employment Development Department SDI that I will not be able to return to work.

    Already have Medi-Cal as Secondary (Cigna Through employer) which I am assuming will be will be cancelled very soon.

    On 2015 I was already deemed 50% disabled due to a work injury, I did not claim any state benefits only the Worker’s Comp and did a settlement. Continued to work on and off as I could, this now is another health issue which will last until death. I will be 56 in October 2021.

    Do I have to reach out and apply for Social Security SSDI Permanent Disability Benefits and wait over a year to get Medicare Advantage and MediCal as secondary?

    [our webpage on Medi Medi – Cal Medi Connect]

    Family of four, Low Income, on SNAP [Food Stamps – Cal Fresh] and Head of Household.

    I will not be able to afford Medicare premiums of $150 [$148.50] per month for Part B Dr. Visits.

    I appreciate your guidance.

  3. 2. I have been on SSDI since 2014 and now get free Medicare A and low cost prescriptions. I also get 100% coverage through the Financial Assistant program offered by my local Hospitals.

    3. Was going to pay the $148 [now $170] for straight Medicare [Part B] beginning in August

    4. but was looking for a supplement plan to coincide with the straight [original] Medicare. If possible,

    5. I was hoping to find a $0 premium per month plan.

    • 1. We don’t like to do phone calls either. President Trump was not kidding when he said that Insurance was complicated. We prefer to have the questions in writing so that we can research and verify the correct answer with a citation.

      2. Do you mean SSDI? Please be exact. Otherwise we can end up with a lot of grief and confusion.

      By low cost prescriptions, do you mean you have a Part D Rx Plan?

      Do you have LIS Low Income Subsidy?

      I’m not really familiar with what you mean by 100% coverage financial assistance program from your hospital.

      3. What do you mean by “straight” Medicare? Do you mean “original” Medicare? See our video and Medicare Publication 10050 for an explanation of “Original” Medicare. Basically original Medicare means Part A Hospital and Part B outpatient.

      Part B Hospital has a base premium of $148/month.

      4. What type of supplement plan did you want?
      Medicare Advantage?

      Medi Gap?

      5. In general, Medi Gap might run say $150 to $180 for someone turning 65 in California.

      Medicare Advantage in many counties in CA have Zero premium and include Part D Rx.

      Under Medicare Advantage, you basically turn in your Medicare Card and get your services from the Medicare Advantage plan, not original Medicare. Medicare Advantage MUST be equal to or better than original Medicare.

      If you are not in CA, email us and we can give you a referral directory.

      Also, please double check that you have an eligible enrollment period as you should also have been eligible for Part B when you got Part A which should have been in 2016, 2 years after you got SSDI.

      Medi Gap Guaranteed enrollment

      Medicare Advantage Guaranteed Enrollment

      Part B Late Enrollment penalty?

      Part B Enrollment Periods

  4. Can i get DSI [sic] SDI State Disability Insurance and SSI at the same time?

    i am working and getting my SSI at same time. if i become disabled can i get DSI [sic] at the same time?

  5. If your SSI case is reviewed by the SSA and you tell them that an asset is or was not yours, do they investigate the person you claim owned the asset?

    Can they get information on other people to pursue investigating them, or do they have to get a court order or such to pull another person’s info to check their status?

    If the other person is also receiving SSI benefits, do they automatically have access and the right to look into them?

    In essence are you throwing the other person under the bus and prompting an investigation into them?

    • Let’s take a look at the 23 page application for SSI.


      Failure to report any change within 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurs could result in a penalty deduction.

      The Social Security Administration will check your statements and compare its records with records from other State and Federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, to make sure you are paid the correct amount.

      We have asked you for permission to obtain, from any financial institution, any financial record about you that is held by the institution. We will ask financial institutions for this information whenever we think it is needed to decide if you are eligible or if you continue to be eligible for SSI benefits. Once authorized, our permission to contact financial institutions remains in effect until one of the following occurs:

      (1) you or your spouse notify us in writing that you are canceling your permission,

      (2) your application for SSI is denied in a final decision,

      (3) your eligibility for SSI terminates, or

      (4) we no longer consider your spouse’s income and resources to be available to you. If you or your spouse do not give or cancel your permission you may not be eligible for SSI and we may deny your claim or stop your payments.

      I declare under penalty of perjury that I have examined all the information on this form, and on any accompanying statements or forms, and it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

      I understand that anyone who knowingly gives a false or misleading statement about a material fact in this information, or causes someone else to do so, commits a crime and may be sent to prison, or may face other penalties, or both.

  6. Everyone has to live somewhere, and a home does not count as an asset for SSI purposes. S0, if someone is receiving SSI benefits and a family member gives – gifts them a home or buys one in the SSI recipients’ name or the money to buy said home, does that gift count as income or count against them in any way?

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