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A Review of Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Another program being administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in ensuring social protection for the citizens of the United States is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). ...

Another program being administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in ensuring social protection for the citizens of the United States is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The SSI program's main targets are the poverty-stricken individuals who have a lack of resources to pay for basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. The program intends to give income to needy individuals who were disabled and/or have reached the elderly age of 65 and above, for as long as they have adequately met the program's income requirements.

The SSA carefully administers and enforces the SSI program's income requirements. By doing these, the government is assured of providing benefit only to people who have limited resources and inadequate income. The SSA carefully evaluates those who are elderly, disabled and has impairments that are qualified to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI benefits).

What is Income and Resources?

Income is the money an individual earns or receives every week or month through a job, unemployment benefits, VA benefits, pension, family members and other relatives, and friends.

Resources, meanwhile, pertain to the money an individuals is safekeeping in a bank or accounts for investment like 401k/IRA, savings bonds, mutual funds, stocks, and CDs, as well as properties an individual may have, aside from the primary residence, trust funds, vehicles excluding one, life insurance policies.

These are considered limited when the sum value equals to $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples.

Those applying for SSI benefits whose assets have surpassed these sum value will not be considered eligible.

Where do the SSI benefits come from?

The money being used for the SSI comes from the Federal income tax revenues and not from the Trust Fund of the Social Security.

Provisions of SSI benefits do not base eligibility on the individual's employment or job history; it is based more on the needs of the individual.

How to qualify for SSI benefits

SSI Program requirements:

  1. United States legal resident and have not left the country "for more than 30 days"

  1. Citizens of the United States and eligible for benefits (Some resident aliens are also given opportunity to avail of SSI benefits, given several conditions)

  1. Meet the requirements, both Medical and non-medical

  1. For those under 65 years old, they must meet the requirements of being disabled through evaluation of the state Disability Determination Service (DDS)

  1. For children under 18 years of age, similar disability requirements are also needed.

  1. For those who are 65 years old and above, they need not meet the requirements for disability and need only to meet the non-medical requirements by the SSI program.

What are the SSI benefits?

- Individuals who qualify for benefits under the SSI program receive Medicaid. This is a "health insurance plan" intended for needy citizens.

Many States base eligibility for Medicaid program according to an individual's SSI eligibility.

Meanwhile, some States use other terms for programs that are equivalent to the Medicaid. For example, in the state of California the program, which essentially is Medicaid, is called MediCal.

- In several States, SSI eligibility also qualifies the individuals and their family to avail of food stamps. Local Social Services in each area can be consulted for qualifications to receive food stamps.

If you need help concerning your Supplemental Security Income benefits in California, our well-established law firmScience Articles, Mesriani Law Group has expert Social Security Disability attorneys are at your service. Please visit our website at

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Lala C. Ballatan a.k.a Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily journals way back when she was 10. With writing, she felt freedom to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns -- imagined and observed, to bear witness.

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