Is There A Maximum Dollar Amount For SSI Disability?

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 2019, the maximum is $771.

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.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.