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SSI Credibility: What You Need to Know

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federally-funded program that provides financial assistance for elderly and disabled people who have limited source of income.

SSI does not require beneficiaries to pay for a certain contribution while they were still working, unlike in other federal programs like the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) where claimants are required to have paid contributions in their past employment.

Criteria to Become Eligible in SSI

  • Beneficiaries should be 65 years and older.

  • Disabled or blind.

  • The value of things they own should be less than $2000 if they are single of $3000 if they are married. However, the value of the house and (usually) the car is excluded.

  • Beneficiaries must live in the United States or its other jurisdictions. However, those who are not US citizens but are considered resident (e.g. refugees seeking asylum) may still be qualified for SSI.

Benefits of SSI

The aim of this federal program is to allow low-income people to have a decent living by helping them pay for basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Another advantage of becoming SSI beneficiaries is that they will also get Medical Assistance (Medi-Cal) which is also referred as Medicaid. This federal assistance helps people from low-income households pay their medical expenses.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSI beneficiaries do not have to apply for Medi-Cal because they can automatically receive this medical assistance.

In California, the state usually adds more cash to the SSI benefits to allow beneficiaries to buy their basic needs.

Usually, SSI beneficiaries will not get food stamps from the government since the benefit already includes the food expenses. However, some are excluded from this policy and may still receive food stamps.

  • SSI claimants who are still waiting for their application

  • People who have been denied with SSI benefits

  • Individuals who move to another state

To receive other services, SSI beneficiaries should go to their local county welfare to know if they are qualified for additional assistance including a special allowance for assistance dogs for the blind or disabled, protective services, and in-home support assistance.

SSI Monthly Payment in 2009

  • Single elderly - $907
  • Single disabled - $907
  • Single blind person - $972
  • Single elderly living in non-medical board or care - $1,086
  • Single disabled living in non-medical board or care - $1,086
  • Single blind person living in non-medical board or care - $1,086
  • Single elderly living with someone else - $683.34
  • Single disabled living with someone else - $683.34
  • Single blind person living with someone – 764.34
  • Disabled minor - $793
  • Disabled minor living in household – 557.34
  • Aged or disabled couples living independently - $1,579
  • Aged or disabled couples living in non-medical board or care – $2,172
  • Aged or disabled couples living in household – 1,269
  • Blind couples living independently - $1,806
  • Blind couples living in household - $1,496.66
  • Blind person with an aged or disabled spouse living independently - $1,721
  • Blind person with an aged or disabled spouse living in household - $1,410
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