How Supplemental Security Income Works

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has its roots in the original creation of Social Security during The Great Depression, but has evolved since the formalization of the program in the 1970s. There are a variety of things to consider when applying to make sure your application is a successful one.

Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has its roots in the original creation of Social Security during The Great Depression, it actually didn’t fully formalize as a reliable source of income for seniors and the disabled until 1972 when the Social Security Administration (SSA) became operators of the program.

In short, the program provides monthly cash assistance to more than eight million elderly, low-income and disabled Americans (as of 2018). It “guarantees” a minimum level of income for those who qualify, especially for those whose Social Security benefit is low.

Who Qualifies for SSI?

In order to qualify, an applicant must have little or no income and few assets ($2,000 for individuals, $3,000 for couples, in most cases). Applicants must meet one of three requirements (different rules apply for children): “be age 65 or older, be totally or partially blind or have a medical condition that keeps you from working and is expected to last at least one year or result in death”, according to the program’s site.

You also must be a U.S. resident, but not necessarily a citizen. You’ll also have to apply for Social Security and any other eligible government benefits.

What are the benefits available?

For SSI in 2020, individuals get $783 and $1,175 per couple. States sometimes will add to this and you could receive less if you or your family have other income. Personal situations matter greatly when it comes to the exact payout.

You’ll likely also qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, too.

The application process itself is fairly straightforward and as long as you meet the criteria the site outlines, you can apply online.

However, there are some situations where going through the SSI application process can be cumbersome and laborious. As with many other government programs, there are multiple layers of bureaucracy.

This is why it’s so important to have a qualified SSI claims attorney on your side. The team at Schott Law is knowledgeable and professional when it comes to SSI matters in Eastern Washington and Idaho and can advocate on your behalf to get the maximum amount of benefits you deserve. Call us today at (509) 328-5789 to schedule your free consultation.