Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program primarily for low-income individuals with disabilities. However, individuals aged 65 or older may also qualify if they aren't disabled, providing that they don't have resources of more than $2,000 or monthly income higher than $750. It is typically for individuals who have no work history or have not worked long enough to receive Social Security Disability benefits. To receive SSI an individual must:
- Have a disability that is expected to last at least a year and render them incapable of working at a substantial level, or be aged 65 or older.
- Have Resources that do not exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a disabled couple. The home that the individual lives in and the value of one vehicle is excluded.
Individuals who receive SSI will qualify for Medicaid during the first month of cash entitlement. In Virginia, individuals have to file a separate application for Medicaid with their local Department of Social Services. However, if SSI is their only income, they will meet all the financial criteria for Medicaid eligibility.
There are maximum set amounts that Social Security can pay to an SSI recipient. For example, the maximum amount that an individual who is living alone can receive is $750 per month. in 2018. Economic need or severity
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for individuals with disabilities that have worked and paid Social Security tax. They have paid enough into the Social Security system to earn enough “quarters of coverage” to qualify. The younger a person is, the less quarters they need.
For every $1,320 that a person earns, they earn one quarter of coverage. Individuals can earn up to four quarters per year. The number of quarters needed to qualify for benefits varies based on age.
Individuals will qualify for Medicare after 24 months of entitlement.
The payment level of an SSDI check varies based on the individual. The more that the person contributes in Social Security tax over their working career, the higher their benefit when they become disabled.
How do I apply for SSI?
- Make an appointment and visit your local Social Security office. To find the Social Security office nearest to you, go to the VirginiaNavigator website and in the search box enter the words "Social Security" , in the next box put in your city, county, or zip.
- Call the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Payment on another Record
Sometimes an individual can receive Social Security payments based on the record of a spouse or parent even if they have not worked long enough to qualify for benefits on their own.
Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)
If a person with a disability has a parent who is deceased, disabled, or retired, they could potentially get benefits based off of the parent’s record. To qualify, the individual must:
- Have a disability that is expected to last at least a year and render them incapable of working at a substantial level.
- Be either not working or be grossing less than the $1,180 per month substantial gainful activity figure for non-blind individuals or $1,970 if an individual is blind.
- Either be unmarried or married to another recipient of Social Security benefits (not SSI). Marrying an individual who is either not disabled, or not receiving any Social Security benefits will result in a loss of cash benefits.
- Child became disabled prior to age 22.
The general rule is that CDB beneficiaries will qualify for half of what the parent gets if they are alive. If the parent is deceased, the amount increases to 75% of the parent’s total.
If an individual has a spouse who has been receiving Social Security and dies, the surviving spouse might be eligible for some benefits based on the deceased’s record proving that:
- They were married for at least nine months and the deceased was expected to live at the time.
- The individual is at least 60 years of age (50 if the surviving spouse is also disabled).
- The amount of the deceased worker is higher than the amount of the surviving spouse if the surviving spouse also receives benefits.
The amount differs based on a few factors. It will depend on the deceased workers work history and the age of the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse can only get 100% of the deceased workers benefits if they meet the criteria listed above and wait until his or her full retirement age to collect. If they decide to take it earlier, the benefits will be permanently reduced. The amount of the deduction depends on the age of the surviving spouse. The earlier the surviving spouse collects benefits, the more the reduction will be.
This article was contributed by Michael Klinger, Work Incentives Specialist for the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services. For more information or any other benefits related questions, contact Michael Klinger at 434-298-7652 or Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org