But unfortunately, not everyone can look forward to a secure retirement, which is why the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program may be something to look into.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI is a separate income from Social Security. It’s a federal program designed to help blind, disabled or elderly individuals financially. Unlike Social Security benefits, disabled individuals eligible for SSI need not have worked and paid into the Social Security system to receive the benefits. Whether a person is eligible for SSI, and how much aid he/she will receive, is also determined by a person’s income.
Am I Eligible for Supplemental Security Income
To qualify for SSI, applicants must either be United States citizens or resident aliens. Other non-citizens may be eligible to receive benefits as well, under certain circumstances. Special privileges to qualify for SSI may be granted to refugees, individuals granted asylum, current or discharged alien U.S. Military personnel and disabled alien individuals lawfully living the U.S. before August, 1996.
Individuals who are 65 or older are eligible to apply for and receive SSI. Adult non-students between 18 and 65 must have a qualifying disability to be eligible for SSI benefits. Minors, up to age 18, can receive SSI if their parents or guardians meet the income requirements for aid. Students under age 22 may still receive SSI benefits as a minor.
For other qualifying disabilities and eligibilities, you can visit: http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/
Can I Receive SSI and Social Security Benefits?
Although SSI and Social Security are two different programs, you can receive both. However, if you are receiving Social Security benefits, it reduces the SSI amount.
The program was put into law in 1972 by President Nixon as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments and it’s different from Social Security Administration (SSA) retirement, survivors or disability benefits.
As of January 2012, the maximum SSI amount payable to an individual adult or child is $698 per month. The maximum SSI amount payable to a couple – if both people are eligible – is $1048 per month. Other income, including Social Security benefits reduces these amounts. And even if income is low, resources of over $2000 for an individual or $3000 for a couple can make people ineligible.
Many resources, including your home, car and some burial funds do not count for SSI.
Costs of the SSI program are paid from Treasury general revenue funds, not by SSA payroll taxes.
The amount of SSI is the same nationwide. Individual states can add money to the basic benefit.
For more SSI information, you can visit the Social Security website at: www.socialsecurity.gov or visit your local Social Security office.