Millions of Americans receive assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA). As of December 2015, over 8 million people were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you are an SSI recipient or are thinking of applying for SSI, you need to know a little more about this important benefit. Like many government programs, some important things changed in 2019.
SSI Benefits, Generally
The SSA manages the SSI program. Funded by U. S. treasury funds, SSI provides monthly payments to eligible persons. Three groups of people generally may qualify for SSI benefits, including:
- People age 65 or older;
- Persons who are legally blind; or
- People who are disabled.
However, applicants go through an application process before receiving benefits. Individuals requesting SSI benefits have to meet certain criteria, including:
- Have limited income;
- Have limited resources;
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or a certain category of alien;
- Reside in one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
- Not be absent from the United States for a full calendar month or more or for 30 consecutive days or more; and
- Several other requirements.
If approved, SSI recipients receive monthly payments for as long as they qualify. However, each year, the SSA announces changes to SSI benefits, and 2019 was no exception.
SSI recipients received a cost of living allowance (COLA) increase of 2.8 percent. In other words, the monthly payments changed as follows:
- From $750/month to $771/month for an individual
- From $1,125 to $1,157/month for a couple.
The SSI Student Exclusion also changed:
- The monthly limit increased from $1,820 to $1,870.
- The annual limit also increased, from $7,350 to $7,550.
Income remains an important factor in determining whether someone receives SSI or is denied. According to SSI guidelines, an applicant typically cannot make more than $1,220 per month to receive SSI benefits.
Another key determining factor rests in the resource limits. However, these did not change in 2019 and remain:
- $2,000 for individuals; and
- $3,000 for couples.
Understanding the SSA’s guidelines isn’t easy. Fortunately, help is available.
It’s Complicated, so Give Us a Call.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.