The Supplemental Security Income program provides a minimum level of income to the low-income elderly and individuals with disabilities, including children. In 2012, the maximum monthly payment was $698 for individuals and $1,048 for couples. Benefit levels are based on federal guidelines, adjusted annually for inflation. Almost all states (except North Dakota and Tennessee) supplement federal dollars with additional cash benefits. In December 2011, 5.5 million people received the federal SSI payment, 2.1 million received the federal payment and a state supplement, and 200,000 people received just a state supplement. In most states, people who quality for SSI automatically qualify for Medicaid.
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