Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is an income supplement program. Administered by the Federal government, SSI provides the means for many Americans to meet their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing. SSI is similar to the disability program offered by the Social Security Administration, or SSA. However, the qualifications for each benefit are different.
SSD and SSI: The Important Differences
In order to receive Social Security Disability payments, you must have a work history. The length of this history, along with the total dollar amount you earned during this time and how much you paid in Social Security taxes, determine what your monthly disability benefits will be. You can receive an estimate of these benefits by requesting a Social Security Statement online or using one of the SSA Benefit Calculators.
SSI benefits are not based on your work history or the amount you have paid into the system. Anyone who is age 65 or older, disabled or blind may qualify for SSI. In addition to these criteria, you must also meet certain citizenship or alien requirements and have limited income. Income restrictions do not include most housing assistance programs, some war-related government compensation payments and earnings that are below a certain amount or fall into other excluded categories.
Certain resources, or possessions, may also affect your application for SSI. Your primary home, personal effects and one vehicle do not count as resources for SSI eligibility purposes. Other excluded resources include low-value life insurance policies, burial plots and belongings used in a business or trade.
Select groups of people, such as fugitives and prisoners, are not eligible to receive SSI. You may also be denied for SSI if you give away or sell resources for less than the items are worth.
SSI Payment Levels
If the SSA approves your application for SSI benefits, you will receive monthly payments. In 2012, Federal payments for individuals may be as much as $698. Couples who are eligible for SSI may receive up to $1,048. Some states pay additional benefits to SSI recipients, based on the reason that the benefits were approved. These additional funds may be included in the Federal check or sent to you separately.
Once you are approved for SSI, you may be eligible for other government assistance programs as well. These include Medicaid, which can pay your health care expenses. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, may also be available to reduce or eliminate your food bill. Finally, your state, county or city may provide social services, such as transportation, meal delivery or homemaker services, to those who qualify for SSI.
Getting Help Through the SSI Lawyers in Philadelphia
The application process for SSI can be a daunting, confusing task. The attorneys at Chermol & Fishman, LLC have many years of experience with the SSA and its system. In addition to knowing the rules inside and out, they can help you avoid pitfalls and delays that can cost you money as well as time. The initial consultation is always free, and no fees are due until the firm successfully obtains benefits for you.
We speak in Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Hebrew Languages. There are no fees to pay until we recover benefits for you. Call our law offices at 1-888-SSI-PAID (1-888-774-7243) or contact us and we will get in touch with you immediately.