Social Security Administration

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) pays monthly benefits under two programs: the Old-Age (Retirement), Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI) and the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI).  In 2011, more than 54 million Americans will receive $730 billion in benefits under these programs. The OASDI program pays benefits to individuals who are “insured” or have sufficient earnings in employment covered by Social Security taxes.   The retirement program pays benefits to individuals who are at least 62 years old and have earned enough credits to qualify. The disability program pays benefits to adults who meet the earnings tests for disability benefits and cannot work because of a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. The SSI program provides monthly benefits to many in need who are either age 65 or over, blind or have a disability and have limited or no resources.

One of the main objectives of Opening Doors is to increase access to mainstream benefits like SSI and SSDI, as this income support helps individuals experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness apply more of their limited budgets towards housing costs. SSA has worked to increase its outreach efforts to the homeless population through collaboration with other federal agencies and at the state and local levels. SSA seeks to eliminate barriers to accessing these benefits by working closely with other service providers to assist with outreach and training activities designed to enhance services for those in need. Homeless advocates and service providers can access this site for application assistance here.

Evaluation of Homeless Outreach Projects and Evaluation (HOPE)

Marion L. McCoy, Ph.D., Cynthia S. Robins, Ph.D., James Bethel, Ph.D., Carina...

Improving Access to Disability Benefits Among Homeless Persons With Mental Illness: An Agency-Specific Approach to Services Integration.

Robert Rosenheck, Linda Frisman, and Wesley Kasprow April 1999 This study evaluated a joint initiative of...

The Effects of SSI & SSDI Benefits Termination As Seen in HCH Projects

Sarah McCarthy, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty April 1999 "The Supplemental Security Income program ...

Impacts of the Project NetWork Demonstration: Final Report

Robert J. Kornfeld 1999 The Social Security Administration (SSA) initiated Project NetWork in 1991 to test case...

Social Security Retirement

The Social Security Retirement Program pays benefits to individuals who are at least 62 years old...

Social Security Disability Insurance

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays benefits to adults who cannot work because...

Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides cash assistance to meet the basic needs of...