Depending on your income, assets, and other factors, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits. This program offers additional income on top of your retirement benefits, helping you make ends meet and provide a more stable income for your family.
What is the purpose of SSI?
SSI provides benefits to people who have very limited income and assets and cannot work to earn additional income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays these benefits on top of the payments from other government programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security early retirement if your monthly SS benefit is less than the SSI monthly benefit and you can prove that you are disabled. SSI allows many of these families to make ends meet and provide food, clothing, and shelter for their children and grandchildren.
If you have questions about collecting SSI in addition to the retirement benefits you currently receive, you should discuss your financial situation with one of the qualified disability attorneys at Berger and Green. We know the rules and regulations for these programs. We can help you understand your benefits and how they work in conjunction to provide the income you need. Call 412-661-1400 for more information on how to qualify for SSI and retirement benefits.
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How do I qualify for SSI?
You need to meet strict income guidelines and have minimal assets in order to qualify for SSI disability and begin drawing these benefits. In addition, you must be:
- Blind, according to SSA standards; or
- Suffering from a medical condition that prevents you from working.
Unlike other SSA programs, however, there is no work requirement attached to SSI. You can qualify for these benefits even if you have no work credits and have not paid in to Social Security.
If you currently receive retirement benefits and believe you may qualify for SSI, we can help you evaluate your situation and determine if you need to file an application for the program. We can also help you find other programs that may provide additional benefits above and beyond those the SSI program offers.
What are the income requirements to collect SSI?
The maximum payout you can receive each month from the SSI program is $735 for 2017. In addition, this amount also serves for the maximum amount of income you can receive a month and still qualify for SSI benefits.
The asset limit for this program is also very stringent. In 2017, you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets per individual or $3,000 per couple. The SSA does offer some limits on what they count toward these assets. They do not consider your home, daily-use vehicle, personal items, burial funds, term life insurance, or items you use for your business against this total.
We can help you understand if you might meet these requirements based on your financial records and the information you provide about your income. If we believe you have a strong chance of approval, we can help you file your SSI claim.
Can I qualify for SSI while drawing Social Security retirement benefits?
SSI is one of the few programs you may qualify for while also collecting Social Security early retirement. However, you will need to collect less than the 2017 SSI income limit of $735 per month from your retirement and all other income sources to receive SSI. The SSA lists the 2017 average retirement benefit as $1,360 per month, but those who held low-paying or part-time jobs throughout their careers can make significantly less.
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Can a Social Security benefits attorney help me get the benefits I need?
A Social Security benefits attorney can assist you with understanding both your current benefits and others that may help you gain additional income for your family. At Berger and Green, we offer free disability claim evaluations. We can analyze your income, assets, and other factors and see if you qualify for any additional benefits. We can also help you navigate the appeals process if the SSA has denied a claim you filed on your own for SSI.
We know you may have a lot of questions about Social Security retirement benefits and how SSI could offer you additional income. We can guide you through the claims process and help you gain access to the full range of benefits you deserve.
How can I talk to a Pittsburgh Social Security benefits attorney?
At Berger and Green, our knowledgeable legal team assists disabled individuals, helping them understand the complex qualifications for SSI and other SSA benefit programs. We can help you prepare your application, assist as you file your claim, and improve your chances of approval. If the SSA denies a qualifying claim, we can file an appeal in your case.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 with your questions or to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our Social Security attorneys.