Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a program that delivers monthly benefits checks to children and adults who have disabilities if they meet Social Security’s definition of disability and if their income and assets are within the eligibility limits.
According to the Social Security Administration, you are considered disabled if you have physical or mental impairments that keep you from working and your disability is expected to last at least a year or to result in death. Children as well as adults can get SSI benefits if they are disabled. When deciding if a child is disabled, Social Security looks at how his or her disability affects every day life for children of the same age.
Whether you can get SSI also depends on what you own and how much income you have. Income is money you have coming in, such as wages, Social Security checks and pensions. Income may also be non-cash items such as food, clothing or shelter, including if these are purchased for you by another person.
If you are married, Social Security looks at the income of your spouse and the things he or she owns. If you’re applying for SSI for someone who is under 18, Social Security also looks at the income of the parents and the things they own. The things you own that Social Security considers income includes items such as real estate, personal belongings, bank accounts, cash, stocks & bonds. A person may be able to get SSI with items worth up to $2000. A couple may be able to get SSI with items worth up to $3000.
Social Security does not count everything you own. For example:
- The home you live and the land it is on, do not count. Beginning in 2009 the value of your primary residence and the land it is on above $500,000 will be counted.
- Your personal and household goods and life insurance policies may not count, depending on their size.
- One car you own usually does not count.
- Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family do not count.
- Up to $1500 in burial funds for you and up to $1500 in burial funds for your spouse may not count.
- If you are blind or have a disability, some items may not count if you plan to use them for work or to gain extra income.
To apply for SSI you can call 1-800-772-1213 or go on-line to http://www.ssa.gov. You can also drop by your local Social Security Office:
2500 Hillborn Rd, Suite A
160 Plaza Dr