Fact Sheet

SSI/SSP Assists Low-Income Seniors and People With Disabilities in Every County in California, but Could Face Federal Cuts

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides federally funded cash assistance to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities pay for housing, food, and other necessities. The maximum monthly SSI grant for most recipients in California is currently $735 per month — less than 75% of the federal poverty line for an individual. Also, California funds a State Supplementary Payment (SSP), which provides up to an additional $160.72 per month for most recipients. Yet, the combined maximum SSI/SSP grant for an individual — $895.72 per month — is still equal to only about 90% of the poverty line. Total funding for SSI/SSP will reach nearly $10 billion in 2016-17, with the federal government providing $7.2 billion and the state, $2.5 billion. Of the 10 California counties with the highest shares of residents enrolled in SSI/SSP, most — including the top three of Del Norte (7.3%), Lake (6.0%), and Siskiyou (5.9%) — are in rural areas. The efforts of Republican leaders in Washington to scale back federal support for the safety net could include reductions to SSI. Any such cuts would be a further blow to SSI/SSP recipients who already struggle with California’s high cost of living.