Everyone who receives disability benefits through SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is eligible for the same SSI benefit amount, $841 (in 2022). But, your actual monthly SSI payment will depend on what state you live in, whether you have any "countable" income, and whether you're married.
The average federal SSI payment in 2022 (for adults) is $604 per month. (This is without any state supplemental payments.) Children on SSI receive an average of $683 per month (before state supplemental payments).
While SSI is a federal program (administered by the Social Security Administration), and the federal government pays a standard base rate of $841 per month, most SSI recipients receive less than the federal benefit rate, and some receive more. Your actual monthly payment will depend on how much income you or your family brings in or earns and how much of a "state supplemental payment" (SSP) your state pays, if any.
If you're married and your spouse is also eligible for SSI benefits, you'll get less than two individuals would get. The maximum federal benefit rate for couples is only $1,261, which is less than two $841 payments.
While the federal benefit rate of $841 is the same throughout the United States, many states add a state supplemental payment onto the federal benefit. The extra state payment varies from $10 to $400, depending on the state. Even within your own state, the supplementary payment can vary depending on whether you're married or single and what your living arrangement is. For instance, in 2022, California adds an extra $160 to the monthly SSI payment for people living independently with a kitchen and $247 for those living independently without cooking facilities.
While many states pay all SSI recipients some additional money, some states pay the supplement only to SSI recipients who live in nursing homes. For example, Texas pays a $60 supplement to those living in a nursing home and pays nothing to others. Similarly, Georgia pays an extra $20 to those living in nursing homes, and nothing to others. Maine pays only $10 extra, both to those living independently and those living in nursing homes.
A few states don't pay a supplement at all, including Arizona, North Dakota, and West Virginia. Oregon no longer pays an SSI supplementary payment, but some residents with special needs can receive a cash benefit through the Oregon Supplemental Income Program.
California pays the average highest supplement, making the average payment there $729 per month. Here are the average SSI payments, including the state supplemental amounts, for the next ten states with the most SSI recipients.
SSI Payment Amounts by State
Visit our state SSI disability articles to learn the details of the SSI payment for your state.
The SSA administers (pays) the state supplement for some states, including California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, so the extra state payment is included in people's SSI checks in those states.
Other states pay the supplement directly to you, separately from your federal SSI payment. If you live in a state that pays its own supplement, you need to apply for the state disability check directly from a state agency (the SSA can tell you how).
If the SSA administers the payment for your state, you apply for it automatically when you fill out an SSI application; there's no need to fill out another form.
For more information, see our article on the state supplementary payment.
If you have any income coming in other than SSI, some of it, but not all of it, will be subtracted from your SSI payment.
The SSA will first look to see what income you have is countable. Countable income includes:
But not all of your income is subtracted from your SSI payment. Each month, the SSA does not count:
Here's an example of how the SSA deducts part of your income when it calculates your SSI payment. Let's say Maria makes $625 per month from a part-time job, before taxes. Because the SSA won't count the first $20 of any income per month, and the first $65 of earnings, this leaves Maria's countable income at $540 ($625 - $20 - $65). Next, the SSA doesn't count half of Maria's remaining earnings, or $270 ($540/2) in Maria's case. So, out of the $625 in income that Maria makes, the SSA only counts $270 as countable income, and it will subtract $270 from Maria's SSI payment. Maria's monthly payment will be $571 ($841-$270).
If you live with someone else and you receive free room and board, your SSI payment will be reduced by one-third. (It doesn't matter how much free rent you receive or how much food you get.) Here's an example: You live in a state that doesn't pay extra for SSI, so if you lived on your own, you would get $841 per month. But you live with your sister and you don't contribute to rent or food costs. The SSA will lower your monthly check to $563 per month (one-third of $841). Read our article on "in-kind support" for more information.
The federal SSI amount regularly increases with cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) each year. The COLA is usually between 1.3% and 2%, but some years it can be as high as 5% or as low as 0%. In 2022, the COLA was a whopping 5.9%, which increased the maximum federal SSI payment from $794 in 2021 to $841 in 2022. But in 2021, the COLA was only 1.3%, which only added $11 to the monthly federal SSI payment. Read our article on Social Security's annual COLA for more information.
Updated January 24, 2022