Financial Eligibility for SSI Benefits

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: February 5th, 2015 | Categories: Social Security Disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a disability benefits programed offered through the Social Security Administration that allows for those who qualify to apply and receive paid benefits.  This differs from traditional Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) in that it is paid from a different pool and requires applicants to meet different standards of need.  The main difference is that SSI is available to disabled individuals who have never worked or who have not met the threshold for work that would qualify them for Social Security disability insurance.  Many who apply often confuse the two programs because of the similar acronyms. 

The most important requirement to consider is the income and assets of those applying.  To qualify for SSI benefits, you must fall within the SSI income and asset levels.  This process can be complicated, so if you are unsure which benefit program fits your needs, contact a Social Security disability insurance attorney to learn more. 

What is the income limit?

To make sure the benefits of the SSI program reach those with the highest need, the Social Security Administration has set an income limit that is based on the federal benefit rate (FBR).  The current rate (2015) for couples is set at $1,100, and $733 per month for those who apply as an individual.  The FBR is subject to change if the Social Security Administration makes a cost of living adjustment. 

This means if you are currently working and making less than the limit, you may qualify for benefits.  Remember, the Social Security Administration can change the current FBR rate as they change the cost of living, so make sure to review the most current information when you apply for your SSI.  Hiring a Social Security Disability insurance attorney can help you navigate this process and keep you informed on any new or changing requirements.

What is the asset level limit?

To qualify for Supplemental Security Income, you must not exceed the general asset limits.  Again the SSA defines both married and individual assets and sets the limit for individuals at $2000, and $3000 for married couples living together.  The assets counted for this amount may not be what you would think, so be sure to calculate your asset amount carefully. 

Some items that count toward the asset limit are: cash, money in a checking and savings account, cash value in life insurance policies over a certain cash limit, stocks and bonds, and some household goods and personal effects.  However support payments, some grants and scholarships, and child tax credit payments are not included in the asset calculations.  Again, this in no way represents an all-inclusive list.  Always reference the Social Security Administration website, or consult a Social Security disability attorney to learn if you qualify for SSI benefits. 

Sound complicated?  Don’t let the complications of the benefits programs stop you from applying and receiving benefits for which you qualify.  Work with an attorney to learn more about the specifics of SSI financial requirements.   If you want to determine your eligibility and review the requirements, contact a Social Security disability income attorney today!  At Jones Law Group, our dedicated disability lawyers can help you apply for benefits, or appeal a denial of benefits.  Call us today at (614) 545–9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with our dedicated team.

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