Supplemental Security Income Program and eligibility

The Supplemental Security Income Program is an initiative funded through general tax revenue and managed by the Federal Government of the United States.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program assists people with disabilities – and those with low income earning background, with few assets.

The Supplemental Security Income eligibility is determined if:

  • You are blind, have a disability, and are 65 years of age, or older.
  • You are a lawful U.S. resident.
  • You earn limited income which is not enough to feed your family
  • You own the assets of not more than $2,000 in an individual capacity
  • The asset limit for a couple is $3,000

What benefits from the Supplemental Security Income Program can You receive? 


To get the benefits form the program, you must meet the Supplemental Security Income eligibility standards.

The benefits – people get from the program – depend on what kind of citizen you are. For example, if you live individually, you will get the monthly supplement fund of $721 and for a couple, the funds are designated up to $1,082. Beneficiaries receiving the Medicaid funds for their long-term care are eligible to get $30 monthly, and the ones who share the house with another person, (not living as a couple), would get one-third less amount from the funds a couple receives.

Roughly around half of SSI recipients also receive food stamps, and one-fourth of recipients living in public housing receive housing assistance in the form of vouchers.

Benefits can be reduced if the income of the recipient increases, or the recipient has another source of income such as pensions, child support, or interest income.

To identify the eligibility of a recipient, SSI exempts $20 off the monthly unearned income called general income exclusion, along with $65 on earned income called earned income exclusion.

It is important to note that with every unearned income, the level of Supplemental Security Income eligibility standards changes. However, for every dollar earned, a deduction of 50 cents is made from the SSI benefits. This minimum deduction is to encourage working. Because of the earning potential of an individual, the SSI exempts a certain amount of work-related expenses while reducing benefits.

Some of the recipients are entitled to get more SSI benefits, because they don’t have any other source of income.

In 2013, the monthly SSI benefit received by any individual was around $710, but it got reduced to $529 when the additional income sources were defined.


How SSI is working effectively?

The SSI benefits cover up to approximately three-quarters of the needs of individuals living in poverty. For the couples, it covers up to 80% of their needs. 

How SSI benefits vary within states?

Factors that affect your Supplemental Security Income eligibility standards include your geographic location or the state you are residing in.

Most of the states provide SSI benefits to recipients according to the policies and procedures in place, other than the federal support. Some of the states including Mississippi, Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and Arkansas do not offer the State Supplemental Income Support Program. States that offer Supplemental Income Support provide financial assistance to people. The funds they receive range from $10 to $700.

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