learn more about it
Social Security Income or SSI makes monthly payments to people who have low income and few resources and are:
• Age 65 or older
Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own).
Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. You can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to find out the income limits in your state. Social Security does not count all of your income when they decide whether you qualify for SSI. For example, they do not count:
• The first $20 a month of most income you receive
• The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65
• Food stamps
• Shelter you get from private nonprofit organizations
• Most home energy assistance.
If you are married, they do include part of your spouse’s income and resources when deciding whether you qualify for SSI. If you are younger than age 18, part of your parents’ income and resources is included. And, if you are a sponsored noncitizen, they may include your sponsor’s income and resources.
If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.
If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages you use to pay for items or services that help you to work. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair do not count as income when it is decided whether you qualify for SSI.
If you are disabled, some of the income you use (or save) for training or to buy things you need to work may not count.
Resources that are counted in deciding whether you qualify for SSI include:• real estate
You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth no more than $2,000. A couple may be able to get SSI if they have resources worth no more than $3,000. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.
Social Security does not count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI. For example, the following resources do not count:
• The home you live in and the land it is on
• Life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500 or less
• Your car (usually)
• Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family
• Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse.
To get SSI, you must live in the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen or national. In some cases, noncitizen residents can qualify for SSI.
If you are eligible for Social Security or other benefits, you should apply for them. You can get SSI and other benefits if you are eligible for both.
If you live in certain types of institutions, you may get SSI.
If you live in a city or county rest home, halfway house or other public institution, you usually cannot get SSI. But there are some exceptions.
If you live in a publicly operated community residence that serves no more than 16 people, you may get SSI.
If you live in a public institution mainly to attend approved educational or job training to help you get a job, you may get SSI.
If you live in a public emergency shelter for the homeless, you may get SSI.
If you live in a public or private institution and Medicaid is paying more than half the cost of your care, you may get a small SSI benefit.
If you are applying for SSI, you can complete a large part of your application by visiting their website at www.socialsecurity.gov. You also can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to ask for an appointment with a Social Security representative.Parents or guardians usually can apply for blind or disabled children under age 18. In some cases, other third parties can apply for children.
You should bring certain items when you apply. Even if you do not have all of the things listed below, apply anyway. The people in the Social Security office can help you get whatever is needed. Please bring:
• Your Social Security card or a record of your Social Security number
• Your birth certificate or other proof of your age
• Information about the home where you live, such as your mortgage or your lease and landlord’s name
• Payroll slips, bank books, insurance policies, burial fund records and other information about your income and the things you own
• The names, addresses and telephone numbers of doctors, hospitals and clinics that you have been to, if you are applying for SSI because you are disabled or blind
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status
• Your checkbook or other papers that show your bank, credit union or savings and loan account number.
If you are approved for SSI, you must receive your payments electronically. Payments may be made via direct deposit, the Direct Express® card program or an Electronic Transfer Account. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.org.
If you get SSI, you also may be able to get help from your state or county. For example, you may be able to get other Social Security benefits, Medicaid, food or other social services. Please continue reading through the Co-Op’s Benefits section to determine your eligibility for services.