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SSI – Supplemental Security Income

What is SSI – Supplemental Security Income?

Along with Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income disability is our lawyers’ main practice area. SSI is a government program designed to help older, blind and/or disabled individuals, as well as children with disabilities, who have little or no income and cannot work. It is meant to offer assistance for basic needs – food, shelter and clothing.

It follows the same standards in terms of whether a person is disabled as Social Security Disability. However, this program is funded by federal tax revenue, not Social Security taxes. It is a means based program, and is not based on the Social Security taxes that you have paid into the system.

Qualifying for SSI – Supplemental Security Income

You may have a limited income and still qualify for some SSI – Supplemental Security Income benefits, but there are limits as to how much you can make, and limits as to the assets you can have. These income limitations vary depending on your marital status, whether you have children, and the source of your income. The asset restrictions generally allow for one house that you live in and one car. Beyond that, you’re typically limited to $2000 ($3000 for couples) in assets, including:

  • Cash, on hand or in the bank
  • Land or real property (other than the exception for one house)
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks
  • Life insurance
  • Any other assets that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter

Questions and Answers:

What is the difference between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is based upon being disabled and having certain financial needs. You cannot have over $2,000 in assets minus a home you live in and the car you drive and get SSI. Also, any income that you have or that your spouse has can cut into the amount of SSI that you can receive. SSD is based on the taxes that you paid. You can have an unlimited amount of assets and get SSD. Further, your spouse’s income and any unearned income that you have will not cut into your SSD. Earned income does not cut into SSD but if you make too much for too long you cannot be considered disabled.

What makes someone eligible for SSI?
To be eligible for SSI you must be considered disabled. This means that you must have health problems that prevent you from being able to work. Also, you must have limited financial means. Generally, you cannot have over $2,000 in assets minus your home and car ($3,000 if married). Additionally, any income that you have will cut into the SSI maximum of $943 per month essentially on a dollar for dollar basis. Any income that your spouse has will also reduce your SSI maximum. For a family with no children a spouse’s unearned income of just $492 per month begins to cut into the claimant’s SSI. SSI is eliminated if you have a spouse with unearned income of $1,435 per month provided that you have no minor children. A spouse’s earned income starts to cut into SSI at $1,029 per month. SSI would be eliminated if you have no minor children and your spouse earns $2,915 per month gross.

Can I get both Social Security Disability and SSI?
Yes. If your SSD amount is lower than the SSI maximum of $943 per month, you can get both SSD and SSI to bring your combined benefit up to about $960 per month. If your SSD amount is higher than the SSI maximum, you will only get SSD.

Does SSI count as income?
Yes. SSI is considered unearned income that can impact how much SSI is payable to a spouse. If both spouses are diabled, their combined SSI maximum is $1,415 per month.

Let Smith & Godios Inc. Help You Determine If You Qualify

The qualifications and application process can be complicated and confusing. Our Ohio SSI attorneys can help you determine what benefits you may be eligible for, we can help you fill out and submit the appropriate applications, and we can help you appeal any denial of benefits. For a free consultation, contact us online, complete our Social Security disability checklist or call us at 877-351-2086.  Our Akron, Ohio SSI Disability lawyers regularly represent disability clients at the Court in Akron, Ohio but our clients also come from the surrounding areas of Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton, Stow, Norton, Wadsworth, Medina, Green, Fairlawn, Richfield, New Franklin, Canton, Kent, Massillon, Ravenna, Rootstown, Tallmadge, Uniontown, Canal Fulton, Brunswick, and Wooster since we do represent all of Ohio.

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