People with low resources or income may find it difficult to pay for basic necessities. The government established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program because it recognizes that some families may face particular hardships. However, not everyone is aware of this program’s existence or how it can even be of assistance to people in need. To help you take advantage of this opportunity, this article will provide some information on how to do so.
Everything You Need to Know About the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the agency that handles this program. SSI is funded through general taxes. Every month, the program provides eligible people with funds that they can use to cover costs for things such as food, housing, clothing, and other necessities.
Who is Eligible for SSI?
The good news is that anyone can apply for SSI. Also, you won’t need to pay a penny to apply; you can see if you are eligible for the program for free. The program can only help individuals who:
- Have low income or limited resources
- Are at least 65 years of age, blind, or have a disability
- Have valid citizenship status
In some circumstances, a person who is currently receiving benefits from other programs, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or retirement benefits, may be eligible automatically for SSI. The eligibility standards listed above are only a few of the most common. However, there are additional requirements for qualifying that you should be aware of, such as the following:
- Having a residence status that qualifies
- Not leaving the country for a whole calendar month
- Having 30 days (or more) of continuous presence in the country
- Fulfilling additional requirements
Who Does Not Qualify for SSI?
A person may find that they are not eligible for this program. This may include the following situations:
- Those in prison or jail
- If a person is facing a felony that hasn’t been dealt with
- People who are dealing with a pending arrest warrant
- Those in a public institution
- If a person distributes resources
What Kind of Disability Qualifies for This Support Opportunity?
We would like to provide some explanation regarding the eligibility requirements we mentioned before. If you have a physical or mental disability that can be diagnosed by a physician, the SSA may consider you to have a disability that qualifies. The disability must satisfy at least one of the criteria below:
- Makes it not possible to participate in any significant profitable activity
- Is anticipated to pass away
- Is predicted to continue for more than 12 months in a row
- Has lasted for more than 12 months in a row
The Amount That You Can Benefit From
Your particular circumstances will determine how much you are eligible for. However, the benefits of this program cannot exceed specific limits. The maximum limits for 2023 are as follows:
- Individuals can receive up to $914
- Couples can receive up to $1,371
Do Resources Have a Limit?
When it comes to qualifying for this program, the resources you have matter. Resources could be:
- Bank Accounts
- Mutual Funds
- Land or Personal Property
- Life Insurance
- U.S. Savings Bonds
- Anything else you own that may be sold for money and utilized to pay for housing or food
There are limits to the resources applicants can have to qualify for SSI. These limits include what is worth $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for a couple. When assessing your resources, some don’t count at all! The following are some resources that the SSA does not count:
- Your own house where you currently live
- The land on which your residence is located
- One vehicle that you need for transportation
- Household items
- Personal belongings (like your phone)
- Less than $1,500 worth of value for life insurance policies
- Grave plots for you or your eligible family members
Is There a Cap on Income?
When it comes to the SSI program, income is yet another crucial consideration. Applicants must be compliant with certain income limits. The monthly income cap for an individual is $1,767, while the maximum monthly income for a couple is $2,607. These are the 2022 limitations, but they may change in the future. The SSA will not count several types of income including the following:
- The first $20 of monthly income that a person receives
- Refunds on income taxes
- The value of benefits obtained from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Assistance with home energy
- Educational grants
- Small amounts of income that are irregular or infrequent
For this reason, it’s crucial to remember that this program only considers your “countable income” and not your gross income.
How to Apply for This Program?
You can choose to apply for SSI in one of multiple ways that include a phone call or an online application. If you prefer to apply over the phone, you can call 1-800-772-1213, which is compatible with telecommunications relay services (TRS). Besides this number, you can also call TTY 1-800-325-0778 if you are hard of hearing or deaf.
If you choose to apply online, you can specify to the SSA that you are submitting an application for the SSI program. Normally, the process takes no more than 10 minutes. In general, you will have to provide some personal information that includes your:
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Mailing Address
- Email Address (Optional)
After completing the online process, an SSA agent will make an appointment to assist you with the benefits application. Within seven to fourteen business days, they will mail or email you the date and time of your appointment. Another possibility is that the SSA agent will contact you via phone call to make the appointment. You should submit an application as soon as you can. This will guarantee that you receive the assistance you require as soon as possible!
The SSI program is a federal assistance program that provides eligible people with monthly payments. Applicants must have a low income and few resources, as well as be at least 65 years of age, blind, or have another qualifying disability to be eligible. You can contact the SSA over the phone to apply or get more information about the program. On top of that, you can also submit an online application if that is easier for you. You will have nothing to regret since the application is totally free!