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Income Requirements For SSI

Posted on in Social Security Disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a government program funded by general tax revenues. While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is funded through Social Security taxes, SSI is a needs based program designed to help aged, blind, and disabled individuals with little to no income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) website states, "SSI is meant to provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter."

The two most common questions I get asked with regard to SSI benefits is "how much can I get" and "what are the income requirements." "How much can I get" can be answered through the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). The FBR is the maximum SSI benefits you can get in a given year, for 2010 that amount is $674 per month. What this means is that if you are awarded SSI benefits, you will not be paid any more than $674 a month.

The second question I always get asked is what the specific income requirements are for SSI benefits. In short, all income is considered when evaluating whether an individual qualifies for SSI benefits. Some examples of income include: bank accounts, assets, gifts, household income, etc. Understanding how income is evaluated for your claim can be tricky, especially because income includes a lot of exceptions that may or may not apply to your individual claim. Plus, there are many different categories of income which include: earned income, unearned income, in-kind income, and deemed income. What I find to be really helpful is the SSA webpage entitled, "Understanding Supplemental Security Income, SSI Income." There, you can find more information about how the SSA reviews a claim based on income.

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