Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal benefit program for people who are over 65 or who are blind or disabled with low income—but it is notoriously difficult to gain approval, and not all eligible applicants finish the process. Since 2012, Alameda County has operated a program that provides General Assistance recipients who are applying for Supplemental Security Income with additional cash support and a legal advocate during the period before SSI payments begin. This bridge benefit allows most people to stabilize their housing, while the legal support increases their chances of successfuly receiving SSI. The program is operated as a revolving loan: the county is reimbursed by the federal government once the applicant is approved, and those funds are used to support another client who is applying for SSI.

  • Bay Area Legal Aid
  • County of Alameda