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A state grant has been awarded to the Cattaraugus County Department of Aging to conduct a survey identifying senior citizens who may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income.

There are more than 11,000 persons in the county living at or below the poverty level, yet less than 2,000 receive SSI benefits, according to the Aging Department. The county has the fourth highest poverty rate among senior citizens in the state, said Wendy H. Marsh, department

SSI is a Social Security benefit program that is available to people who are blind or disabled, over age 65, and living on a limited income. The federal government estimates that as many as 54.3 percent of the people qualified to receive SSI are not doing so.

Under the grant, the department will conduct door-to-door visits and telephone people over age 60 to inform them of the benefits.

For information about SSI or other Aging Department programs call the Olean office.

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