How Can Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Help?

Many people that have limited incomes with limited resources struggle more than the average person. Luckily, there are support opportunities available that can help. One option that helps people across the country is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This federal program can provide some much-needed support to those that qualify. However, many people don’t know the details of this program, which is why we are going to explain what SSI is, who qualifies for it, and more.

Your Guide to SSI

This program is available through the Social Security Administration (SSA). People can benefit from this program thanks to the payments they receive every month. The payments that recipients get can go towards a variety of necessary expenses:

Eligibility Requirements for SSI

This program is designed to help people that have a limited amount of resources and a limited income who have eligible citizenship status. Besides that, to qualify applicants must be at least one of the following:

  • Disabled
  • Blind
  • 65 years old or older

There are some instances where a person can automatically qualify for this support opportunity. People may be able to do this if they are currently benefiting from other government programs. For example, a person may automatically qualify if they are receiving benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Besides the above-mentioned qualifications, some other qualifications for this program include:

  • Don’t be absent from the country for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days
  • Have an eligible residency status

Regardless of whether or not you think you may qualify, the applications are free! Submitting an application is the only true way to tell eligibility and they won’t cost you a penny. So, they are for sure worth the time it takes to submit one!

What Does Disability Mean?

It’s important to note that someone may have a disability with a limited amount of resources and income but still may not qualify. That’s because only a specific type of disability qualifies for this program. Only disabilities that meet at least one of the following criteria qualify for this program:

  • Causes the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA)
  • Is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
  • Lasted for at least 12 months

Ineligibility to Keep in Mind

While it is important to keep the eligibility criteria in mind, there are instances where people can find themselves ineligible. This includes people who:

  • Are in either prison or jail or a public institution
  • Have an unsatisfied arrest warrant or felony
  • Give away the resources they receive

What’s the Most You Can Get From SSI?

The specific amount that you will be able to get from SSI will vary depending on your situation. However, the maximum monthly limit for 2024 is:

  • $943 for individuals
  • $1,415 for a couple

What are the Limits for SSI

Remember how we said this program was designed to help people with limited resources and income? Well, that means there will be limits that applicants face when qualifying.

Resource Limits

Applicants can only have a maximum of:

  • $2,000 in resources as an individual
  • $3,000 in resources as a couple

Luckily, not everything is considered a resource. Only the following are considered when determining how many resources an applicant has:

  • Cash, bank accounts, and mutual funds
  • Stocks and United States savings bonds
  • Personal property
  • Life insurance
  • Land
  • Other items that could be converted to cash and used for necessities like shelter or food

It’s important to remember that not everything will count as a resource! If you have any questions about what does and doesn’t count, you can reach out to the SSA.

Income Limits

For 2024, the income limits that applicants must make less than are the following:

  • $1,971 for Individuals
  • $2,915 for a Couple

Not every source of income will count towards this limit. In fact, the following forms are not counted by the SSA when determining the level of income:

What’s the Application Process for SSI?

Many people don’t realize that there are a couple of different ways they can apply to this program. A person can apply:

  • By calling
  • Going Online

For those that want to apply by calling, they can reach out to 1-800-772-1213 (or TTY 1-800-325-0778 if they are hearing impaired). Another number that hearing-impaired people can call is 1-800-772-1213 which is a number that is compatible with telecommunications relay services (TRS). On the other hand, those that want to apply online will have a different process. Generally, the online application process takes a maximum of 10 minutes.

When submitting an application, people can expect to provide information like:

  • Personal information: name, date of birth, and Social Security Number
  • Contact information: mailing address, phone number, and email

Regardless of how you choose to apply, you will want to do it as soon as you can! Applications take time to process and when you are in need, waiting can be extra challenging. When you submit your application quickly, that means you will get your benefits quicker than if you just wait around!

Bottom Line

For qualifying individuals that have a limited amount of income and resources, one support opportunity is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Besides having limited income and resources, recipients will need to also be at least 65 years old, have a disability, or be blind. This program provides support through payments that recipients get each month. The maximum monthly amount of benefits that recipients can get is:

  • $943 for individuals
  • $1,415 for a couple

It’s easy to apply! If you want to get more information about this program or want to begin the application process you should check out the SSA. Who knows? This support option may be a great resource for what you’re dealing with!

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