Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are in effect a federal welfare program for the disabled, the blind and for those over 65 years of age. SSI is not paid for by Social Security taxes, they are paid for by U.S. Treasury general funds.
The benefits are based on a strict need and income and resources (the things a person owns).
SSI eligibility depends on (1) disability, (2) assets, (3) monthly income, (4) citizenship.
- Disability: Using the same definition as is used for the Social Security disability program
- Assets: a maximum of $2,000 for an individual, $3,000 for an individual and a spouse (excludes a home of any value and one car if it is used for work or to obtain medical care)
- Monthly income: earned and unearned
- U.S. Citizenship: Be a citizen or or fall into the group of limited exceptions to the citizenship rule
Overpayment of SSI
The Social Security Administration can decrease payments of future SSI or SSDI benefits or demand a refund of the overpaid amount if a determination is made.
Overpayments can occur for many reasons including cessation of disability, excess or unreported earnings, and unreported changes in family legal status (divorce, remarriage, adoption, etc.). In SSI cases, excess resources (such as receiving a payout as a beneficiary to a will or trust) can also create an overpayment.
We can help you appeal a denial of SSI benefits or prepare a special needs trust for you so that you do not risk an overpayment.
Call us today for a complimentary consultation.