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Supplemental Security Income

If you acquire Social Security benefits, but have limited income and resources, SSI may be able to help. Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program the government provides payments to an adult or child who is disabled and has limited income and resources (and their dependents). It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. The amount of the benefits depends on beneficiary's income and whether the person lives alone, with others, in the household of another, or in a residential care facility. It also enables beneficiaries to be eligible for food stamps and in some cases an application for SSI benefits also serves as an application for food assistance. SSI benefits are however not based on your prior work or a family member's prior work. Its benefits are based on need rather than the amount paid into the program or the number of quarters worked. SSI benefits are paid to eligible people only, not to family members or survivors. Children are required to have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which results in marked and severe functional limitations.

SSI benefits

Social Security SSI remains an option for a number of recipients and applicants who may meet federal criteria. Since SSI benefits are not time-limited, they offer greater stability to individuals who are disabled and who are not able to fulfill work requirements under TANF. SSI programs take into consideration the income and resources of individuals and families to establish the amount of aid provided to beneficiaries. To qualify for SSI, your monthly income cannot exceed something called the federal benefit rate (FBR), which is set by law.

Under the Social Security Act, the federal government also provides financial grants to states that operate programs offering maternal and child health care, services to disabled children, child welfare services, and social services such as daycare for children of working mothers. If your income and resources are too high, you will be turned down for benefits no matter how severe your medical disorders and also if you have not paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for SSDI. The government has relied on SSI to give a safety net for the working and retired poor, that is, people who have worked, but earned minimal wages or did not work long enough to become eligible for the Social Security Old Age or Disability.

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