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Friday, August 7, 2009

SSI Eligibility

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is intended to assist low income families and disabled individuals. This benefit is given regardless of whether the claimants have worked in the past or not. The basis is the financial need and not the work history of the claimant.

Unlike Social Security Disability, SSI is a Federal income supplement program funded not by the Social Security taxes but by the general tax revenues.

Starting January 1, 2009 the Federal SSI benefit rate is $674 for individuals and $1,011 for couples.

Some States provides additional payments on top of the SSI benefit. Hence, the total SSI benefits are higher in these states compared to others.

However, not all are qualified for SSI. Your resources are one of the factors that determine your eligibility. In 2009, the resources limit is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. Further, not all resources are counted for SSI purposes.

The Social Security includes your spouse’s income and resources if he/she lives with you. Hence, even if your personal resources are not over the limit if it exceeds the limit when combined with your spouse's resources, you would still be ineligible.

In case you meet the resources limit, your claim would be set for medical determination. All medical determinations are done the same way for SSDI and SSI. If you are determined to be medically disabled, the Social Security would again check your resources limit to make sure that you still meet them.

Should you want to know more or you feel like you are eligible, consultation with a Social Security lawyer is advised.