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Supplemental Security Income

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is a federally funded program providing benefits for people with specific impairments. These may include physical or psychological impairments. SSI includes medical coverage under the Medi-Cal program.

What is SSI Advocacy?

SSI Advocacy refers to the help provided by Alameda County Social Workers to someone applying for SSI. This help is available throughout the entire application and appeal process. Social Workers can assist in contacting mental health providers to obtain a mental health evaluation that must accompany the SSI application.

SSI Advocacy Services for Adults and Children


SSI Advocacy Services are available to adults and children receiving CalWORKs and adults with no dependents receiving General Assistance (GA) who may qualify for SSI. This includes people who are:

  • Homeless
  • Elderly and frail
  • HIV positive
  • Adults and children with special needs due to mental health or physical health impairments


Your case will be evaluated by a Social Worker. The Social Worker will help you decide if you may be eligible for SSI. If you need help in applying or re-applying for SSI, a Social Worker can help you.

If you need specific help in applying for SSI, your Social Worker will:

  • See that the case is properly evaluated according to state regulations.
  • Obtain the necessary medical and psychological documents for your case or arrange for medical or psychological tests as needed.
  • Help with transportation to and from appointments.
  • Work with the Social Security Administration and the Adult Disability Division of the California State Office of Social Services to make sure that you meet all requirements for applying for SSI.
  • Work closely with other community organizations and Health Care Providers to help you get the services you need.

Other special services provided by Social Workers include:

  • Help with emergency services for mental health issues (life threatening or requiring assistance with prescriptions)
  • Help with emergency food and shelter
  • Help for homeless GA clients through the Community Housing & Shelter Services (CHASS) Program
  • Making home visits or hospital visits to provide service
  • Referrals for domestic violence
  • Referrals for alcohol and drug abuse
  • Referrals for mental health treatment
  • Help CalWORKs and General Assistance staff understand your special needs

For information: You may find out more about SSI Advocacy and Special Services by visiting one of our public contact offices

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