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Look into supplemental income

Too many people are missing out on monthly cash Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits that could make their lives more comfortable and healthier. Recent studies show that many people who could get SSI checks if they applied for them don't apply because they don't know about the program or think they're not eligible.

Social Security is trying to find these people, tell them about SSI, and help them get all the benefits to which they are entitled.

SSI currently provides monthly cash benefits to more than 4.5-million people who are age 65 and older, or blind or disabled (including blind or disabled children) with limited income and resources. In addition, you must also live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Island, and be a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Although there are limits on the amount of income you can have, you can have other income and still get SSI checks.

You are also permitted to own your own home, a car, household goods and similar things you need for your support.

If you or someone you know is 65 or over, or has a severe disability or is blind, call Social Security.

The Social Security representative who answers the phone will ask some questions about the income and assets of the person who is applying (bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.). Then they will make an appointment to take the application over the telephone or at a local office.

So don't wait to find out whether you _ or someone you know _ can get SSI checks and the other benefits that come with them. Call Social Security today. The toll free number is (800) 234-5772.

Gary D. York is a field representative of the Social Security Administration. You may write to him at P.O. Box 4898, Clearwater 34618.