BENEFITS OF SSI
Payments for SSI are made on the first day of the month unless that day is on a Weekend or legal holiday, in which case the payment is made on the first day prior that is not a weekend or legal holiday. The minimum benefit is one dollar. The SSI program (or Title XVI of the Social Security Act 1611) provides monthly federal cash assistance of up to $771 for an individual and $1,157 for a couple (as of 2019) to help meet the costs of basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing. In most states, SSI eligibility usually assures concurrent access to important medical coverage under the various state Medicaid programs and sometimes access to Section 8 housing benefits. In some states, supplemental payments are made by the state, increasing the cash assistance available through SSI. For example, the state of California (through its State Supplementation Program or SSP) increases the cash assistance, making the total 2015 SSI benefit $889.40 per month.
SSI takes the income as well as resources of the applicant or recipient into selflessness. People who have qualified for Social Security disability benefits may receive SSI during the five-month waiting period if they meet the income and resource requirements. The resource limit for single individuals is $2,000 and for married individuals is $3,000. Resources include anything that is cash or can be turned into cash, such as art, mineral rights, stocks or other investments, and real property. In some situations, however, these resources can be excluded. SSI benefits are generally reduced dollar-for-dollar by any unearned income, such as TANF, alimony, unemployment insurance, Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits. Earned income from wages or self-employment is treated more favorably; e.g., a person who earns a wage of $750 per month may still be eligible while someone who receives $750 per month in alimony may be ineligible. It is permissible, subject to regulations, to be employed and continue to receive SSI. Even if a person no longer receives SSI due their wage or self-employment income being too high, they may still be eligible for Medicaid benefits under what are referred to as 1619 provisions. An examination of eligibility for SSI also considers the income of “deemors,” e.g., a spouse who lives with the recipient, a parent or parents who live with a child recipient (recipient under the age of 18) or, in some cases, the backer of an alien.
Social Security determines the first month of potential eligibility for SSI by the date of the intent to file an application for benefits as expressed to the Social Security Administration, and an application is filed within 60 days of the date of that expressed intention. To begin the process, people wishing to be considered must contact Social Security (there is a toll-free telephone number) to set up a disability interview. No online application for SSI is currently available; however, one may apply for Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits online and add the application for SSI via a telephone-scheduled interview. Calls placed on the last day of the month, where the interview is scheduled for the second week of the following month, will result in SSI eligibility organism retroactive to the month in which the call was made to set up the appointment, although the first check will not be received until the next month. For example, a person calls on 31 January to set up an appointment for February. January will be the month-of-application for determination purposes, but the first benefit check will be issued in February. Medicaid benefits usually begin the first month in which medical and financial requirements are met.