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Who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income?

Policy makers in the United States decades ago recognized that the most impoverished Americans require some financial assistance, especially if they are too old or too young to work, are blind or have certain disabilities that make employment difficult if not impossible. For that reason, Supplemental Security Income is provided to claimants who have few resources and cannot financially support themselves; this includes many people in Tennessee. As a needs-based program, SSI is available to anyone who has no regular source of income and few assets, even if the person has no work history.

What are the basic SSI payments? SSI payments are the same everywhere -- $733 for a single person and $1,100 for a couple. The amount actually received, however, depends on the state in which the applicant lives. Some states provide additional money in lieu of SSI. Other states lower the amount if there are other sources of income or wage-earning family members.

What is included in determining eligibility? Social Security Administration authorities do not factor in the value of an applicant's residence or car when they evaluate total income or wealth. However, any funds in a bank account, financial inheritance, spousal income or stocks or bonds can be included in determining eligibility. Many claimants find it beneficial to consult legal counsel to understand and get help with the claims-submission process.

Who is eligible for SSI? To apply, a person must be a legal U.S. resident living in the country. Any applicant whose claim is successful must also apply for certain other benefits. Most of those who qualify for SSI also receive Medicaid to address their health-care needs and benefits through the the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Medicaid benefits help cover doctor and hospital costs, and SNAP benefits help buy groceries.

Source: Social Security Administration, "You may be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)," accessed on April 8, 2015

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We serve clients throughout the United States. We charge no fees in disability cases unless we recover benefits for you. To schedule your free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer, call 800-945-4950 or contact us by email.

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