What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

There are millions of people who receive benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) every year, and more people who apply every year. However, applying for SSDI means meeting certain basic requirements, and unfortunately, not everyone does. For those who can’t get SSDI, there is another program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which can potentially meet their needs.

SSDI has two basic requirements: first, a person must have a demonstrable disability that prevents them from engaging in gainful employment, and second, a person must have accumulated a certain number of “work credits” by engaging in gainful employment and paying Social Security taxes for a given period of time. While SSI also requires proof of a disability that prevents you from working, it does away with the work credits requirement. Instead, you must make less than a certain amount of money per month to qualify.

The reasoning behind SSI is that most people who wouldn’t qualify for SSDI do so because they haven’t worked enough to accumulate enough work credits, and the likely reason for that is because their income is too low. Thus, SSI is only for those who make too little income to reasonably meet the SSDI requirements. However, that requirement isn’t very straightforward.

SSI benefits provide a maximum of $733 per month for an individual or $1,100 per month for a married couple, which is reduced by one dollar for every two dollars a person makes at their job. However, a certain amount of money is exempted from the SSI reduction; for example, the first $65 a person makes every month doesn’t count, as does any money you spend to be able to work (for example, transportation costs). There are additional benefits that may be granted at the state level, as well.

If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.

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