What is SSI?

As with the Medicaid programs, Supplemental Security Income is a federal program that will provide you with monthly payments if you have limited income and resources. Make no mistake – although SSI is run by Social Security Administration, it is NOT the same as the Social Security benefits you’re most likely familiar with.

To get Supplemental Security Income, you must be a U.S. resident, and:

  • Be age 65 or older;
  • Be totally or partially blind; or
  • Have a medical condition that keeps you from working and is expected to last one year or result in death.
  • Children who are disabled or blind, whose parents have little income or resources, may be eligible for SSI benefits as well. Click here to learn more …

How much can you get?

The basic monthly SSI payment for 2015 is the same nationwide:

  • $733 for one person
  • $1,100 for a couple

Keep in mind that not everyone gets the same amount. Your monthly payment will depend on where and with whom you live. And you can count on it changing from year to year.

How do you qualify for SSI?

Your ability to get SSI payments depends on your income and resources.

Your income includes

  • The money you earn
  • Your Social Security benefits
  • Your pensions
  • The value of items you get from someone else (such as food and shelter)

In Connecticut, to be eligible for SSI, your individual total monthly income cannot exceed $2,000. If you are a Connecticut Medicaid recipient however, that monthly income limit is $1,600.

Your resources include the things that you own, including real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds.

You may be eligible for SSI if those resources are worth $2,000 or less. If you’re married, you and your spouse may be eligible if your combined resources are valued at $3,000 or less.

Social Security does not count everything you own to determine SSI eligibility. For example, it does not count:

  1. The home where you live
  2. Life insurance policies valued at $1,500 or less
  3. Your car if its equity is $4,500 or less
  4. Prepaid funeral arrangements
  5. Assets in a special needs trust, if you have one

If you plan to apply for SSI, go to the Social Security web site, www.socialsecurity.gov. You can begin your application there. You can also set up an appointment to apply by calling them at 800-772-1213.