What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based benefit program for the aged and disabled. Unlike SSDI, you do not need work credits to qualify for SSI. However, you must fall below Social Security’s thresholds for family income and resources. These thresholds are quite low. For example, an individual may not own more than $2,000 in non-excluded resources to qualify for SSI. If he or she is married, the couple may not have more than $3,000 in non-excluded resources. Some types of resources are not counted, such as the value of a home or car. In addition, some types of income are considered differently than others. As a general rule, only half of any earned income counts toward the income threshold, whereas most other types of income count dollar-for-dollar against it. If a disabled person does not qualify for SSDI or that benefit amount is very low, he or she may qualify for SSI. The maximum federal benefit for a disabled individual entitled to SSI in 2015 is $733.00 per month. For a disabled couple, it is $1,100.00. Vermont gives a modest supplement to Vermonters who qualify for SSI, which raises those figures to $785.04 and $1,198.88. Jarvis & Modun represents many people seeking SSI. We know the resource and income rules. We give advice to clients and to other attorneys on the best ways to deal with awards, settlements, inheritances, and financial windfalls that will preserve a disabled person’s entitlement to SSI and Medicaid. If you believe that you may qualify for SSI benefits because of a disability, Jarvis & Modun may be able to help. Call us for a free consultation.