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Elder Law - Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a federal program, administered by the Social Security Administration, that provides the elderly, blind and disabled with a minimum guaranteed income.  Beginning January 1, 2013, the maximum federal SSI benefit is $710 a month for an individual and $1,066 a month for a couple.

Many older persons who are not eligible for Social Security retirement benefits because they have not accumulated enough work credits may still be eligible for SSI, and even many of those receiving Social Security retirement benefits may be able to supplement their benefits with SSI payments. It is estimated that 1.5 million elderly who are potentially eligible for benefits never apply for them.

The idea of the SSI program is to provide a minimum income level for qualified individuals. If you are receiving income from another source, your SSI benefit will be cut dollar for dollar. Additionally, the Social Security Administration considers food and shelter that you may receive from other sources as "in kind" income. As a result, actual payment amounts vary depending on your income, living arrangements, and other factors.

Who Is Eligible for SSI?

To be eligible for SSI:

  • You must be either age 65 or older, blind or disabled;
  • You must be a citizen of the U.S., or be a long-time resident who meets certain strict requirements;
  • Your monthly income must be less than a minimum threshold established by your state; and
  • You must have less than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for a couple), although certain resources are excluded in the eligibility determination.

Please contact attorney Joyce Ann Williams at info@jwilliamslaw.com for additional information about her elder law services.


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