Supplemental Security Income Demystified

When you’re not able to work and make ends meet, there’s no need to worry because there is a safety net for you to fall on.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal financial support program that gives sustenance to those who are not able to keep a job due to a medical condition. It has a history of helping many Americans get by and we’re going to show you how to qualify for it.

Eligibility

To get SSI benefits, there are a number of conditions that need to be satisfied including: (1) that you have a medical condition that hinders or totally stops you from having or keeping a job, (2) that you suffer from blindness (either partially or totally) (3) the minimum age is 65.

When at least one of these three requirements are met, the applicant will be eligible to apply for SSI benefits, but it should be noted that the amount of financial assistance is determined on an individual basis depending how much the person needs the benefits. Additionally, you may be able to secure more funds depending on where you live and which state you reside in. There are states that invest more and have more financial commitments to SSI benefits, and hence you have the opportunity to get more from state government funding than from the federal funds in some cases. Your specific situation can determine how much funds you get also based on who lives with you and how many dependents you have.

How Much Will You Get?

Now, to the important question, which is how much is Uncle Sam willing to give you in SSI benefits? The assessment process for qualifying applicants, determining their level of need, and finalizing how much they will get is very complex, but a number of key factors are taken into consideration. Some of the assessment criteria include citizen/immigration status, income, total assets, the number of dependents the candidate has, marital status, in addition to other considerations. Those involved in the assessment process will also have to know how much money is in your bank account, in addition to other financial assets including stocks and bonds.

Applying to SSI also involves completing the application for social security as well, so the two go together. If there are other federal or state welfare packages that may be of interest to you, you do have the right to apply to them. Qualifying for SSI will also make you eligible to receive Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You have a good chance of getting both.

Application Process

The first place you need to go to start applying is the Social Security Administration website, where you find all information and forms that you need to complete. Seeking legal assistance, including hiring a lawyer, could increase your chances of qualifying for the benefits. Most importantly, try to complete the application process promptly as other candidates could beat you to the benefits.

Coronavirus and Your SSI

As COVID-19 continues to impact millions of Americans, the government has aimed to provide relief through acts like the CARES Act. The CARES Act provides economic impact payments (EIPs) to qualifying individuals. However, it can be difficult understanding what assistance you will be receiving if you are currently receiving SSI. Luckily, it may not be as hard to figure out as you may think.

It is important to know that SSI recipients are eligible to receive their EIPS unless they have been claimed as a dependent on a taxpayer’s return or if they do not meet other eligibility requirements. The payment that you could receive does not count as a source of additional income. If you are an SSI beneficiary that has a representative payee, then the EIP will be issued to your payee. However, even though the EIP will be issued to the payee, there will be a denotation of the beneficiary name. It should be noted that there are also instances where the payee can request to provide additional assistance outside of the typical role of a representative payee.

All of this information pertains to the first round of EIPs that the government approved with the CARES Act. Since then, congress has approved another coronavirus relief package called the Consolidated Appropriations Act. For this act, similar to the previous act, the United States Department of Treasury will be issuing the EIPs based on the prior year’s taxes (in this case it would be 2019) and payments will be issued using either the electronic payment method or physical address associated with the taxes that were filed.

If you are an SSI recipient yet did not file a tax return, then the payment will be issued based on the latest information provided by the social security administration (SSA). This act is essentially the same as the previous act in how EIPs will be provided to SSI recipients. If you have any questions or need additional information there are free online resources on the SSA website that can help!

It can be extremely stressful to deal with a medical condition and your SSI during a pandemic. Luckily, your SSI status does not affect your availability to receive EIPs issued through relief acts. If you have any questions you should contact the SSA which can provide you with all of the details and information you may need. You can also utilize free online resources if you do not wish to contact the SSA office.