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What Do SSI Benefits Include?

Dec. 10, 2019

The Supplemental Security Income program (SSI) can be a lifesaver for low-income individuals or families. That being said, not many understand what it can provide for them. What do SSI benefits include? Here are a few benefits SSI can grant you and your family.

Are You Eligible For SSI Benefits?

Before looking into the benefits SSI can provide, you first need to determine if you are eligible. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, there are requirements you must meet when applying for SSI. They are as follows:

  • Over the age of 65.

  • The property you own (not including items like your home or car) must not exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,00 for a couple.

  • Must have a low monthly income.

  • US citizenship is a must. If you are not a citizen, there are a list of requirements based on your current status.

Monthly Cash

The main benefit of SSI is the monthly cash offered. The core reason why people apply for SSI is that their income is too low to survive off of. The “federal benefit rate” for 2015 is at $733 a month for individuals and $1,100 for couples. This rate usually increases as the cost-of-living adjustments increase. If accepted for SSI, you will receive a check on the first of every month. It usually takes around a month after being accepted for the checks to begin, so don’t expect it right away.

Back Pay

This benefit is essentially allowing one to collect the money that they would have received if their claim was approved immediately. The approval process for SSI can take months or even years and getting denied will force you to start from scratch. Back pay would be granting you money for all of those months that have passed, once you have been accepted. Also, money you will receive will not come in a lump sum like it would if it was SSDI. When you start receiving your back pay, it will affect your SSI benefits. This back pay is considered income.

Medicaid & Food Stamps

Most people who get accepted for SSI become eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. Medicaid is a low-cost or free health coverage for low-income people and people with disabilities. It must be applied for separately from SSI, but being accepted for SSI means you have a better chance to receive Medicaid. Food stamps are essentially vouchers that can be exchanged for food. It also requires you to go through an application process.

Get Help While Applying For SSI!

Applying for SSI can be a confusing process and there is no online application process. That means it’s up to you to set up a meeting at your local Social Security office. Instead of going in there unprepared, attorney Justen Grech of Grech Law Firm is happy to counsel you through every step of the way. From the application process to filing an appeal, our 15 years of practicing Social Security law gives us confidence to help you succeed. On top of that, to assure you are satisfied, we don’t get paid until you do! So give us a call today at 586-203-3125 to get started.