SSI Benefits

People who have are waiting for supplemental security income (SSI) benefits may wonder how much they could receive once they receive their approval notice. There are many factors that go into the benefit calculation, so it can be difficult for applicants to get an accurate idea of how much to expect before receiving this information from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

How Much Does SSI Pay?

There is a federal base rate for SSI of $710 for individuals and $1,066 for couples. However, some people receive more than this amount based on the amount that their state of residence adds to this base. The base rate set by the federal government is adjusted each year to reflect changes in the cost of living.

How Income Impacts Your Payments

The biggest impact on SSI payments is household income. SSI is intended to help low-income individuals who are disabled, blind or over the age of 65. While people who apply for SSI can have some income and still qualify for benefits, the amount of income that comes into the household must be limited.

The first step in determining how much an individual will receive in SSI payments is calculating countable income for the individual or couple. Countable income includes earned income, money given to applicants by their family or friends, the value of free food or housing and any other benefit payments received by the applicant.

While the types of income listed above are considered to be countable income, there are deductions to income that are made before the SSI payment amount is calculated. Income that is not counted includes the first $20 from any source of income, the first $65 from earned income and half of any additional earned income, food stamp assistance, income tax refunds and food or housing assistance that is given to the recipient by a non-profit agency.

Many states add supplements to SSI benefit payments. The supplement ranges from $10 to $200 in the states that offer this additional benefit. However, some states require that recipients have special circumstances such as the need for assisted living in order to qualify for this supplement. An SSI attorney can help individuals understand whether they will be eligible to receive state supplements in addition to the federal base amount.

SSI Payment Schedule

SSI benefits are paid to recipients on the first day of each month. However, payments are made on the Friday prior to the first day of the month if the first day of the month falls on a weekend or on a holiday.

Understanding how to apply for SSI benefits and knowing how much to expect after being approved for benefits is not an easy task. I am available to assist individuals with applying for benefits. I can answer questions related to the application process and the amount of money that a person can expect to receive if their application is approved. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.