Supplemental Security Income

Wheelchair walkThe federal Social Security Administration administers both the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Most people are familiar with Social Security disability, but few have an understanding of Supplemental Security Income. Here’s an overview.

Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Supplemental Security Income payments are made under programs jointly operated by the federal government and state governments. Accordingly, the benefits available will vary from state to state. As a general rule, though, to be eligible to receive SSI dollars, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be either blind, disabled or 65 years of age or older
  • You must have limited income—The amount you earn monthly must fall below state guidelines
  • You cannot have significant personal property—The calculation doesn’t include your car and home, but other property owned is limited to $2,000 per person or $3,000 per couple
  • You must either be a citizen of the United States or meet specific guidelines regarding your residency in the country

To determine whether or not you are “disabled” for the purposes of Supplemental Security Income benefits, you will have to submit to a medical examination by a doctor approved by the Social Security Administration.

If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income benefits, you become eligible for a payment of $733 per month ($1,100 for a couple). The amount you receive, though, may be reduced by any other income you have.

An additional benefit to Supplemental Security Income –once you are approved, you automatically become eligible for food stamps and Medicaid.

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