Supplemental Security Income
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program designed to provide income to individuals who are disabled, blind, or aged, and who meet certain income and resource guidelines. SSI is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security (FICA) taxes. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
The income limits for SSI are the federal benefit rate (FBR) of $783 per month for an individual and $1,175 per month for a couple in 2020. However, not all income is countable, so in some circumstances you may earn more than the FBR and still qualify.
The resource limits for SSI are $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple in 2019. Resources are things that you own, such as cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, land, life insurance, personal property, and vehicles.
However, SSA does not count certain resources toward these limits. Example of non countable resources include the home you live in and the land that it is on, one vehicle (if it is used for transportation for you or a member of your household), and household goods and personal effects.
The Hicks Law Firm is experienced with and knowledgeable about SSI's resource limits and how to qualify for this strict program. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Loans vs. Gifts
If someone else (e.g., a friend or family member) is providing you with food/shelter, then this may affect the amount of SSI benefits you are eligible to receive. If you live in someone else's home and that person pays for your food/shelter, then your monthly SSI benefit will be reduced by one third.
However, if the food/shelter is part of a bona fide loan, then the one third reduction does not apply. There are specific requirements as to what constitutes a bona fide loan. If you are in doubt about your living arrangements, contact us for a free consultation.