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 Income And Resource Eligibility Requirements

social benefits resources recipients earnings

Actual need for assistance is determined using very strict income and asset rules (see Table 1). SSI takes into account all of an individual’s income and resources. After benefits have been awarded, SSI recipients are reviewed from time to time, to be sure that they continue to meet the requirements.

Income. Income determines both eligibility for and level of benefits. As a recipient’s ‘‘countable’’ income increases, benefits decrease, usually on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In most cases a person is not eligible when countable income is more than the federal base benefit.

Work incentives. A person does not have to be totally without income to receive SSI. Provisions in the law include special work incentives that encourage people who are receiving SSI to try to work while continuing to receive benefits. The first $65 of monthly earned income is excluded, as is half of remaining earnings. Expenses related to work are subtracted from income for blind recipients, and impairmentrelated work expenses are subtracted for recipients with disabilities. Resources or income set aside to achieve a work goal in a plan for achieving self-support, such as tuition, a computer, or start-up fees for a small business, are also excluded.

Section 1619 (a) of the Social Security Act gives special cash benefits to those who cease to be eligible for benefits because of earnings over the SGA limit, and section 1619 (b) allows working persons with a disability to continue to be eligible for Medicaid after earnings have made them ineligible for monthly cash payments.

Resources. An individual cannot own many things and qualify for SSI. Interestingly, while federal law does not allow countable resources of more than $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple, ‘‘countable’’ is not defined. Rather, the law provides a list of some things that are not countable resources. For example, an individual’s home and the land it stands on are not counted, but the value of an individual’s car over $4,500 is counted.

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