Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Although R. F. Meyer & Associates provides information and advice as to clients’ SSI eligibility, we refer our clients to one of several experts in the field for application help. Below for informational purposes only, are descriptions of the program from the Social Security Administration.

Info from Social Security Form EN-05-11000

What is SSI?

SSI — An explainer

Reproduced from the Social Security Administrations Form EN-05-11000, the following explains what Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is, who can get it, and how to apply. For information specific to you, talk with a Social Security representative.
SSI makes monthly payments to people who have low income and few resources, and who are:

  • Age 65 or older;
  • Blind; or
  • Disabled.

Rules for Income and Resources

Your income and resources
Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own).
Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits, and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. You can call us to find out the income limits in your state.
Social Security doesn’t count all of your income when we decide whether you qualify for SSI. For example, we do not count:

  • The first $20 a month of most income you receive;
  • The first $20 a month of most income you receive;
  • The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65;• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps;
  • Shelter you get from private nonprofit organizations; and
  • Most home energy assistance.

If you’re married, we include part of your spouse’s income and resources when deciding if you qualify for SSI. If you’re younger than age 18, we include part of your parents’ income and resources. And, if you’re a sponsored noncitizen, we may include your sponsor’s income and resources.
If you’re a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.

Resources (things you own)

Resources that we count in deciding if you qualify for SSI include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds.
You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth $2,000 or less. A couple may be able to get SSI if they have resources worth $3,000 or less. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.
Social Security doesn’t count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI. For example, we do not count:

  • The home and land where you live;
  • The home and land where you live;
  • Life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500or less;
  • Your car (usually);
  • Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family; and
  • Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse.

Other rules you must meet

To get SSI, you must live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen or national. In some cases, noncitizen residents can qualify for SSI. For more information read Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-11051).

  • If you’re eligible for Social Security or other benefits, you must apply for them. If eligible, you can get SSI and other benefits.
  • If you’re eligible for Social Security or other benefits, you must apply for them. If eligible, you can get SSI and other benefits.
  • If you live in certain types of institutions, you may get SSI.
  • If you live in a city or county rest home, halfway house, or other public institution, such as a jail or prison, you usually can’t get SSI. But there are some exceptions.
  1. If you live in a publicly operated community residence that serves no more than 16 people, you may get SSI.
  2.  If you live in a public institution mainly to attend approved educational or job training to help you get a job, you may get SSI.
  3. If you live in a public emergency shelter for the homeless, you may get SSI.
  4.  If you live in a public or private institution, and Medicaid is paying more than half the cost of your care, you may get a small SSI benefit.
  5. If you have any felony or arrest warrants for escape from custody, flight to avoid prosecution or confinement, or flight escape, you usually can’t get SSI.

How to apply for SSI

If you plan to apply for SSI, you can begin the application process and complete a large part
of your application by visiting our website at
www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to ask for an appointment with a Social Security representative.
If you’re a disabled adult intending to file for both SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance, you can now apply online for both benefits at the same time if you meet the following requirements:

• Are between the ages of 18 and 65;
• Have never been married;
• Aren’t blind;
• Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands; and
• Haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past. To apply for Social Security and SSI disability benefits online, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disability. If you cannot apply for SSI online, you can call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to set up an in-office or telephone appointment with a Social Security representative.
Parents or guardians usually can apply for blind or disabled children under age 18. In some cases, other third parties can apply for children.

Have these items with you

You should have certain items with you when you apply. Even if you don’t have all of the things listed below, apply anyway. The people in the Social Security office can help you get whatever is needed. Please bring:
• Your Social Security card or a record of your Social Security number;
• Your birth certificate or other proof of your age;
• Information about the home where you live, such as your mortgage or your lease and landlord’s name;
• Payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, burial fund records, and other information about your income and the things you own;
• The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics that you have been to, if you are applying for SSI because you are disabled or blind;
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status; and
• Your checkbook or other papers that show your bank, credit union, or savings and loan account number.
If you’re approved for SSI, you must receive your payments electronically. We can make payments via direct deposit, the Direct Express® card program, or an Electronic Transfer Account. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.org.

A note for the blind or disabled

If you’re blind or disabled, and working, there are special rules to help you. You may be able to keep getting SSI payments while you work. As you earn more money, your SSI payments may be reduced or stopped, but you may be able to keep your Medicaid coverage.

You may also be able to set aside some money for a work goal or to go to school. In this case, the money you set aside won’t reduce the amount of your SSI. Blind or disabled people who apply for SSI may get free special services to help them work. These services may include counseling, job training, and help in finding work. You can get more information in
Working While Disabled—How We Can Help (Publication No. 05-10095).

Right to Apeal

If you disagree with a decision made on your claim, you can appeal it. The steps you can take are
explained in Your Right To Question A Decision Made On Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim (Publication No. 05-11008). You may handle your own SSI case or appeal with free help from Social Security. You also have the right to have someone represent you. There are rules about who can represent you and what your representative can do. We’ll work with your representative as we would work with you. Ask us if you want to find out how you can appoint someone to act on your behalf. You can also find more information about representation in Your Right To Representation (Publication No. 05-10075) or on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/representation.

Contacting Social Security

There are several ways to contact Social Security, including online, by phone, and in person. We’re here to answer your questions and to serve you. For more than 80 years, Social Security has helped secure today and tomorrow by providing benefits and financial protection for
millions of people throughout their life’s journey.

Visit our website
The most convenient way to conduct Social Security business from anywhere, at any time, is to visit www.socialsecurity.gov. There, you can:
• Create a my Social Security account to review your Social Security Statement, verify your earnings, print a benefit verification letter, change your direct deposit information, request a replacement Medicare card, get a replacement SSA-1099/1042S, and more;
• Apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs;
• Apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits;
• Find copies of our publications;
• Get answers to frequently asked questions; and
• So much more!
Call us
If you don’t have access to the internet, we offer many automated services by telephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 or at our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, if you’re deaf or hard of hearing. If you need to speak to a person, we can answer your calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. We ask for your patience during busy periods since you
may experience a higher than usual rate of busy signals and longer hold times to speak to us. We look forward to serving you.

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