SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Is There A Maximum Dollar Amount For SSI Disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
SSI or Supplemental Security Income disability is a need-based disability program that is administered along with SSD, or Social Security disability, by the Social Security Administration. Since SSI disability is a disability program that is based upon need, it has guidelines that are similar to many other social help programs.
For example, like other social need based programs, SSI disability has income and resource limits that affect an individual's eligibility for the program.
Currently, the resource limit for individuals who apply for SSI is two thousand dollars and the couple’s resource limit is three thousand dollars. While these amounts are subject to change at any time, they have not changed in many years.
Resource limit exclusions include the home that an individual or couple live in and the land it is on, and one vehicle (generally the highest valued vehicle). Any other resource that can be converted to cash counts against the resource limit. Resources could be extra vehicles, land, cash, jewelry, stocks, bonds, 401 K plans, trust funds, bank checking or savings accounts, etc.
The income limit is not a simple amount. The income limit varies depending upon household composition. Any kind of income can be counted toward SSI income limits. Income sources might be, but are not limited to, wages, pensions, disability benefits (short or long term), VA disability benefits, unemployment benefits, rental income, etc. Basically, any income source that the Internal Revenue services considers income can be counted toward the income limit of this program.
If an individual meets the SSI disability program's income and resource limits, they may be eligible for disability benefits...if their disability claim is medically approved. However, SSI disability claimants have one last hurdle to get over once their disability claim is approved. All SSI disability claimants must be reevaluated for income and resources and if they still meet the limits after their case is medically approved they may receive disability benefits.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are medically approved for disability are ineligible for SSI benefits because they no longer meet the income and resource limits (which may be the result of a change in their situation sometime after filing an initial claim). In fact, periodically all SSI beneficiaries will be reviewed to determine if they still meet the the income and resource limits for the program.
Social Security establishes a new maximum SSI monthly benefit amount each year. However, an individual may or may not receive the maximum amount of their SSI disability benefit. In 2011, that maximum was $674. For 2012, the maximum is $698.
If an individual shows that they are paying their share of the household bills, they will receive the maximum SSI disability amount. If they cannot pay their share, or are receiving financial help from family or friends, their SSI disability amount may be reduced.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page