FREE EVALUATION
Are you receiving Social Security benefits?*
Has applicant been, or expect to be, out of full-time work for at least 12 months (earning under $980 in payroll checks per month)?*
Have you retained an attorney for your social security claim?*

Important Facts

  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact
  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact 2
  • Do I have to wait 1 year to apply for SSI/SSDI? No you should apply as soon as you become disabled if your condition is expected to last 1 year or more or it is expected to result in death...
    Important Fact 4
  • I missed the 60 day appeal deadline, do I have to start all over again? Not necessarily, if you can show that you had a good reason for missing your appeal deadline, such as being hospitalized...
    Important Fact 3
  • Do I have to wait 1 year to apply for SSI/SSDI? No you should apply as soon as you become disabled if your condition is expected to last 1 year or more or it is expected to result in death. ...
    Important Fact
  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact

Supplemental Security Income

FAQs – Social Security Disability

1. What is the amount given as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
From January 2013, the Federal SSI payments have been set at $710 monthly for an individual and $1,066 for a couple. Some states make an additional contribution, so that eligible people get more than just the Federally sanctioned amount. State contributions vary with the state and depend upon factors such as income, living arrangements, etc.

2 What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income; the program aims to provide a source of income for people who are 65 years or older, blind, or disabled with limited income and financial resources. People who have never worked in a job covered by Social Security are also eligible for SSI.

Eligibility for receiving SSI includes residence in the United States and citizenship. Legally residing noncitizens admitted for permanent residence are also eligible. Non-citizens who have been given special immigration status by the Department of Homeland Security are also eligible.

Income stipulations for receiving SSI benefits state that your savings and assets should not be beyond $2,000 if you’re an individual or $3,000 for married couples. Spousal income can be considered for determining eligibility.

3. How Does Employment Affect Supplemental Security Income disability benefits?
The Social Security Administration may use your income from work to arrive at an appropriate benefit amount. The new benefit rate is valid from the beginning of the month that you’re employed. It is the recipient’s responsibility to inform the SSA about the earning status each month.

SSA does not consider the first $65 that you earn in a month. If you do not have any other source of income, then the amount disregarded is $85. For earnings beyond $65 and $85, the SSA deducts $1 for every $2 earned in a month.

To illustrate, this is how SSA would calculate the benefits to be paid for a person with only one source of income:

  • Earnings of $500 in a month would leave $415 for consideration after subtracting $85.
  • $415 is divided by two. The result is $207.5. This is the amount deducted from the SSI benefit.
  • The maximum monthly SSI income in 2016 is $733. After deducting $207.50 from this amount, the SSI benefit amount of $525.5 is paid to the eligible subject.

The SSA may increase the amount payable to you if you incur costs that help you with work. These are termed as impairment-related work expenses. Medicines, screen readers, counseling sessions are examples. These items are deductible from your expenses if:

  • The items or services have been paid for by you from your own pocket.
  • You are not going to be reimbursed for these costs.
  • You can submit a proof of payment.
  • The expenses are approved by the SSA.

Impairment-related expenses are subtracted from the countable income before it is halved for the purpose of computing the benefit amount.

Blind individuals are given the benefit of blind-work expenses that include transportation back and forth from the place of work, taxes, visual aids, and cost of attendant care.

In 2016, an income of $1,130 a month from Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is considered as sufficient for surviving without SSI benefits. The amount is higher for states that supplement federal SSI amounts with their own contribution.

The cessation of SSI benefits does not mean the end of all aid. You may continue to receive Medicaid if your income is lower than a prescribed level, or if you incur medical and personal attendant expenses. In case, all your SSI benefits are withdrawn, you have one year to contact SSA and renew your benefits. You can do this without having to fill a new form.

4. What is the definition of living arrangements for SSI by Social Security?
Living arrangements include owned and rented premises. Institutional stay is also considered a living arrangement.

For the purpose of SSI, a living arrangement refers to –

  • A place where the recipient lives.
  • Other members of the household.
  • Contribution by the recipient and other members to the household expenses.

The living arrangement influences the SSI amount a person receives. For instance, if the eligible subject receives food and shelter that is paid for by another person, then the SSI payment can be reduced to up to a third of the amount.

5. How does SSA define unearned income for calculating SSI?
Income that is not derived from a job or business is categorized as unearned income.

Examples of unearned income include –

  • Food and shelter that you do not pay for, or the amount of money you receive from someone to take care of your food and shelter needs.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
  • Railroad retirement and railroad unemployment benefits.
  • Annuities, pensions from any government or private source, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance benefits, black lung benefits and Social Security benefits.
  • Prizes, lottery winnings, settlements and awards, including court-ordered awards.
  • Income from life insurance policies.
  • Gifts and contributions.
  • Income from support and alimony.
  • Cash and property inherited.
  • Income from property given on rent.
  • Union benefits, such as strike pay.

What is the procedure for applying for Medicaid?

The state medical assistance office the official source of information for the application process for Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048) will provide you with local phone numbers.

General information about Medicaid
The state-run Medicaid is a health-insurance program that receives some funding from the Federal Government as well. The objective of Medicaid is to help people meet some or all of their medical expenses. People and families with limited income and resources are eligible for Medicaid. Eligibility criteria also includes blindness, disability, age 65 years and above, children, or family members with dependent children. Medicaid can be used for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance payments. Eligibility for Medicaid is decided by the state. You should apply for Medicaid even if you’re unsure about meeting the selection criteria.

 Medicaid and SSI
In states where Medicaid is provided to people eligible for SSI, the SSI application also serves as application for Medicaid. Eligibility for Medicaid and SSI usually begins simultaneously. However, in certain cases it can also be retroactive by as many as three months.

The states of Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and the Northern Mariana Islands use the same rules to judge eligibility for both Medicaid and SSI. However, a separate application must be filed for Medicaid.

The states of Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia have separate eligibility criteria for Medicaid. A separate application must be filed for SSI and Medicaid.

Source:  ssa.gov