Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 4 » Supplemental Security Income - Early Assistance Programs, Creation Of Ssi, Administration And Funding, Ssi Federal Benefits And Poverty

Supplemental Security Income - Ssi Federal Benefit Levels

age social receive benefits month amount

The maximum monthly federal SSI benefit amount is the same in all states. In 2000 it was $512 per month for an individual and $769 per month for a couple. Not all beneficiaries receive exactly this amount because some individuals live in states that provide supplements to the federal benefit. In 1999, for example, an SSI recipient in Iowa who was blind and lived independently could receive a state supplement of $22 per month. In Rhode Island a couple receiving federal SSI benefits could also receive a monthly supplement of $120.50 from the state. (State supplements are discussed in a later section.)

Some individuals receive less than the maximum SSI benefit because they or their family members receive other income. SSI benefits are reduced dollar for dollar by the amount of a person’s ‘‘countable income’’—usually cash, checks, and other items that can be used directly, such as food, clothing and shelter.

The aged have consistently received the lowest average SSI benefit amount, followed by the blind. The disabled have consistently received the highest. In December 1999 the average benefit amounts were the following:

  • • $249.36 per month for a person over age sixty-five
  • • $350.72 per month for a person who is blind
  • • $364.24 per month for a person with a disability.

The lower average benefits for those age sixty-five and over can be partially explained by the fact that almost two out of three aged SSI recipients are also Social Security beneficiaries. In addition one in five has a small amount of additional income. These other income sources offset the federal SSI benefit.

Living arrangements can also affect SSI benefits. Federal benefits of persons who live in the home of another and receive support and maintenance in kind are reduced by two-thirds. Recipients in hospitals or medical institutions who have more than half their bill paid by Medicaid receive only a personal needs allowance of $30, which. is intended to take care of personal expenses in an institutional setting. In general, recipients who live in public institutions, such as prisons or halfway houses, are ineligible for SSI benefits. (There are exceptions, such as emergency shelters for the homeless.)

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