For people who are planning to file for Social Security disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program, understanding certain requirements and rules is imperative. There are basic amounts that will be paid to a person who is receiving SSI and it can vary on an annual basis. Knowing the amount that can be received, what the income limitations are and what can be owned are all keys to SSD benefits through the SSI program.
In 2016, the basic payment under the SSI program is the same across the U.S. For an individual, it is $733, and for a couple, it is $1,100. However, not all people will necessarily receive the same amount. Those who live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI amount will receive more. Another factor that influences how much is paid through SSI is whether or not the family or person has other streams of income.
The income that will be calculated includes the applicant's benefits from Social Security, pensions and other items that might be received from another person. "Other items" can include shelter and food. For an individual to qualify for benefits, their resources cannot be worth more than $2,000. For a married couple that lives together, the amount cannot surpass $3,000.
Not everything will be factored in when this determination is made. A house that is owned will not be counted if the person lives in the property. A car will generally not be counted either. Other assets such as cash, bank accounts, stocks and bonds will all be calculated into the amount and it will affect whether or not SSI can be provided.
Those who have a disability and believe they are eligible to receive SSI need to understand the rules when applying. For that, it is useful to have legal help from an attorney experienced in assisting clients who are seeking disability benefits.
Source: SSA.gov, "You May Be Able to Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) -- pages 2-3," accessed on Jan. 4, 2016