Supplemental Security Income (SSI) commonly refers to a monthly benefit paid by the federal government to individuals who are disabled, blind, or meet other eligibility criteria. As a general rule, SSI recipients typically must have low or zero income and resources valued at no more than $2,000, with some exceptions. If you are interested in learning more about the regulations regarding such benefits, seek the legal services of a skilled Sandy Springs SSI lawyer.
If you become unable to work as a result of disability or blindness but are not eligible for full social security disability or retirement benefits or any at all, then SSI could be an option. Our knowledgeable social security lawyers could help you navigate the SSI application process and potentially provide appropriate documentation of your eligibility to the Social Security Administration.
Understanding the SSI Benefits Program
Under the SSI program, individuals may receive a stipend of up to $750 per month—and couples may receive a stipend of up to $1,125 per month—depending on their financial situation. Certain income and resources generally are exempt from SSI eligibility calculations, but any countable income and resources in excess of $2,000 may directly affect the amount of an available SSI award.
For instance, if individuals become eligible for social security disability or social security retirement benefits in a monthly amount less than $750, they may be entitled to a combination of social security disability or retirement and SSI benefits each month. SSI could fill the gap when individuals do not have sufficient work credits to receive at least $750 per month in retirement or disability benefits.
SSI also may provide benefits for disabled children with limited household income and assets. If a household’s income increases by $500 per month due to an increase in a parent’s earnings, for example, then the child’s monthly SSI benefit is likely to decrease at least to some degree. SSI benefits are typically based on financial need, so household income may directly impact the amount of a monthly SSI award.
Qualifying for SSI
Individuals generally must meet other requirements besides income and resource limits in order to obtain and maintain eligibility for SSI. For example, only U.S. citizens and certain classes of immigrants are eligible for SSI, and these individuals generally must inhabit one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
Individuals receiving SSI typically must not be incarcerated or confined to a hospital at the expense of the government, and they generally cannot be absent from the U.S. for more than 30 consecutive days or one month, with a few exceptions. Additionally, individuals may not receive SSI when they have certain unsatisfied felony or arrest warrants for escape from custody or flight to avoid prosecution or custody. Speak with a Sandy Springs SSI attorney for more information about qualifying for benefits.
Countable Income and Assets and SSI Eligibility
When calculating an individual’s eligibility for SSI, the Social Security Administration may not count certain income and assets. In terms of income, the SSA may not take into account the first $20 of most income that individuals receive in a particular month, nor does it count the first $65 of earnings and one-half of the earnings over $65 per month. This generally makes it possible for SSI recipients to receive some earnings without affecting their SSI eligibility.
The SSA also may disregard some resources belonging to individuals in considering their eligibility for SSI. For example, an individual’s home, household goods, personal belongings, engagement and wedding rings, and one vehicle are usually all exempt from any determination of whether they may qualify for SSI benefits. In addition, burial funds and life insurance policies valued at $1,500 or less are also typically exempt assets, as are burial spaces.
Since the eligibility rules for SSI may be complicated and involve various exceptions, seeking outside help to interpret them may be warranted. An SSI attorney in Sandy Springs could answer questions and evaluate an individual’s eligibility for SSI assistance based on their personal situation.
Contact a Sandy Springs SSI Attorney to Learn More
Disabled children and adults may all be eligible for monthly SSI benefits from the federal government of up to $750 per month, depending on the level of their income and resources. A Sandy Springs SSI lawyer could be able to assist you in determining your eligibility for SSI and guide you through the application process. Call today to get started.