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Basic Information About Supplemental Security Income That You Should Know

Apr 16, 2008
Disability no linger needs to be an unnecessary burden for those affected. A Federal program provides financial support for individuals who are in their senior years or are suffering from blindness or other physical impairments. This program is called Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Established in 1974, SSI replaced programs administered by the national government to support its needy citizens and provide standardized assistance.

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income is a stipend provided monthly to citizens who are 65 years old or older or have disabilities. This stipend is paid by the United States Federal government through the Social Security Administration. The payment, however, is made using funds from the U.S. Treasury.

Who qualifies for SSI?

In order to qualify for SSI, a person has to be at least 65 years old, has a vision impairment or is disabled. Visually impaired individuals should either be completely blind or legally blind, in which case they should have a 20/200 vision or less even with glasses on. Their field of vision must also be 20 degrees or less.

To qualify as a disabled person, an individual must demonstrate his inability to engage in SGA or substantial gainful activity, either because of a physical impairment that can be determined medically or a prolonged or continuous mental impairment that is also expected to persist for at least 12 months or might result to that individual's death.

He or she must also be a resident of one of the 50 states in the U.S.. the District of Columbia or the Northern Mariana Islands. He or she should also be a child of parents serving permanent military duty in other countries for the U.S. or a student temporarily studying abroad.

Some legal aliens may also qualify for SSI, although certain restrictions do apply.

Applicants for the program must also meet the required income limits as stated by the program. Income limits vary depending on the state where the person resides. It is also determined by the type of income the individual receives and on the number of other people who stay in the same residence. An individual's access to resources other than income should also meet the set limit. In general, a single individual's resources should not be over $2,000 and a married individual should not exceed $3,000. These resources should also be non-liquid and cannot be readily sold for cash within a period of 20 working days.

How do people apply for SSI?

Applicants might get in touch with a Social Security office in their locality either in person or through a telephone. Certain information may be required and verified. In the case of disability, for example, a person's disability may be checked through the DDS or Disability Determination Service, in which case the person's medical history and condition will be assessed or reviewed. The review will be performed by a disability examiner and a doctor. If the disability is not confirmed, the DDS will request the individual to undergo a medical examination which the agency will pay for.

What is the purpose of SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is a means with which to provide minimum income for individuals who have disabilities to help meet their economic needs. It acts as supplementary income for people to cover for their basic needs and living expenses. As such, the amount paid out varies from one person to another since their personal financial situation is put into account.
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