What Is Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal assistance program designed to provide income to aged, blind, or disabled people who have limited assets with which to support themselves.
The SSI program is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but financed by the general tax fund. Because the program is not financed by Social Security taxes, there are no work requirements necessary to qualify for SSI.
In order to qualify for SSI benefits, an individual must be aged 65 years or older, be legally blind, or meet the definition of permanent disability provided by the SSA and match a listing in the SSA's Blue Book.
Because SSI is a need-based benefits program, the financial eligibility of potential claimants is evaluated based on two categories of assets: income and resources.
- Income refers to the amount of money a person receives from wages, other benefits programs, food assistance programs, pensions, etc.
- Resources refer to the value of assets such as cash savings, equity, or real estate.
In order to qualify for disability, a family’s combined income and resources must total less than $3000. If you are unmarried your income and resources must total less than $2000.
Individuals or families approved for SSI benefits will receive a monthly income payment up to the maximum Federal benefit rate determined by the SSA. In some cases, however, the Federal benefit rate may be supplemented by payments from the state in which a claimant resides, increasing the total SSI payment.
Should I Get Representation?
On average about 70% of initial Social Security disability claims are denied disability and most applicants have to go through a rigorous appeals process in order to get approved for disability benefits. Thus, it is in your best interest to hire a disability attorney or advocate to represent you throughout the application process. Your attorney will guide through the application and appeals process and will represent you at your disability hearing, where you have the best opportunity to be awarded benefits.
Social Security Attorneys work on a contingency basis and are not paid unless you are awarded benefits. If your disability claim is approved then, your attorney is paid either 25% of the back pay you are awarded or $6, 000, depending on which is lower.
If you are disabled, or blind, and you believe your level of assets qualifies you for Supplemental Security Income, please fill out our free, no obligation disability case evaluation today.