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Social Security Q-and-A

Q: I am getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can I get other kinds of help?

A: You may be able to get other assistance. For example, in most states, SSI recipients also get Medicaid. You should contact your medical assistance office. SSI recipients also are generally eligible for social services provided by the state, city or county where they live. These may include arrangements for meals or transportation. SSI recipients also may qualify for "food stamps" in many states. More information is available at your local public assistance office.

Q: My grandmother receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. She may have to enter a nursing home to get the long-term care she needs. How does this affect her SSI benefits?

A: Moving to a nursing home could affect your grandmother's SSI benefits. It depends on the type of facility. In many cases, we have to reduce or stop SSI payments to nursing home residents. When your grandmother enters or leaves a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital, skilled nursing facility or any other kind of institution, you must notify Social Security right away. Learn more about SSI reporting responsibilities at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi. You can call Social Security's toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for more information or to report a change.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213. (c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.