Disability Help Center - San Diego - January 2020

HELPING HAND

DisabilityHelpCenter.org

January 2020

When it comes to getting the assistance you need in order to provide for yourself, it’s crucial to understand the benefits available to you. Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a program administered by Social Security that pays monthly benefits to those who are disabled, blind, or age 65 and older and have limited income and other resources. AND HOW IT DIFFERS FROM STATE TO STATE UNDERSTANDING SSI

The application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits, but the two differ in several important ways.

• SSI benefits are not based on your prior work income or any family members’ incomes.

• In most states, SSI recipients are also eligible to receive Medicaid assistance for their health coverage needs.

CALIFORNIA

• SSI recipients may also be eligible for food assistance in most states.

• SSI is financed by funds of the U.S. Treasury, like personal income taxes, corporate taxes, and other taxes and are often supplemented by state programs.

The state of California has the same qualifying factors as Nevada when it comes to the value of the recipient’s possessions. But unlike Nevada, California also offers state supplement to those who are of eligible age, blind, or disabled, even if they are single and living independently. California also automatically adds money to the federal payment rather than using an optional state supplement. Using the same example category as above for Nevada, in 2019 in California, the highest payable amount to any blind, single, and independently living qualifying individual was $988.23 per month. As you can see, there’s a noticeable difference in payout between the two states because on average, the cost of living in California is higher than in Nevada. SSI assistance does tend to increase year after year, and starting this month, the overall increase for all states is rising by 1.6% to account for the general rise in cost of living. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t mean every state is going to see equal benefit amounts. The increase is based on 2019’s numbers.

There are more nuanced differences between SSI and Social Security, but these are four key elements to keep in mind, especially that SSI is often supplemented by state programs. For this reason, each state across the U.S. supplies different SSI amounts to eligible recipients based on the cost of living in that state. The amounts tend to increase year over year, as the cost of living across the country continually rises. There are more than just monetary differences between states, as well. Let’s take a look at the two states in which Disability Help Center resides as examples. To qualify for SSI, the value of the things you own must be less than $2,000 if you’re single and less than $3,000 for married couples. The value of your home and car are not counted. The state of Nevada pays an optional state supplement to recipients who are of eligible age or blind and does not offer a supplement to a person with a disability unless they are coupled with an eligible blind or appropriately aged person. For example, in 2019, the maximum payment that a blind individual in an independent living arrangement could earn in one month was $880.30. NEVADA

Contact Disability Help Center today to find out if you qualify and get a better idea of what your SSI assistance might look like so you can adequately plan for your future.

–Elizabeth Packard

888-418-8860 1

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