Supplemental Security Income
Supplementary security income (SSI) is a program that pays monthly checks to people with limited resources and income and it is run by the social security. The people are often the disabled, the blind and those aged 65 and above years. Children to the disabled or the blind also get the checks. A child under SSI is defined as under the age of 18 or if in school or training in preparation of a job is between the ages of 18-22.
Those who get SSI and leave the US for a month are no longer entitled to the program. Even so, there is a specific act covering the children of military personnel where a child can continue receiving the benefits even when overseas. This is however applicable to a child if he or she is a citizen of the United States of America. It is also applicable if the child is living with an US armed forces parent assigned permanent duty outside the U.S District of Columbia, U.S territories and Puerto Rico and was entitled to SSI remuneration before the parent left for duty overseas (United States, 1975).
To qualify for the program according to Daly, Burkhauser, & Federal Reserve of Francisco (2001), individuals must be at least 65 years of age or above, disabled or blind. Their assets and income must also be below specific limitations. For applicants to qualify as disabled, they must not be in a position to engage in significant gainful task (SGA) because of an impairment that is expected to last for at least a year or lead to death.
Individuals may also need to have combined income that is greater than the present maximum $ 494 ( $741 for a couple) or have resources more than $ 2000 ($3000 for a couple) to meet financial necessities. A person with more resources is required to sell some of his or her countable resources. They include real assets such as land or house that is not occupied or personal property, stamp collection or jewelry.
One can also receive SSI while trying to sell the assets, for nine months and on the other hand, an individual can receive SSI payments for up to 3 months while trying to sell private assets (United States, 1976). Individuals during the initial application process are expected to provide any details that can affect eligibility of their benefits.
Once they receive SSI benefits, individuals are also required to report any timely events including marital status, changes in resources or income and living arrangements to Social Security Administration field office staff. The benefit rate for a person as reviewed in 2013 is $ 710 for an individual and for a couple, $ 1066). Even so, the benefits vary based on the income of a person and living arrangements among other underlying factors (United States, 1976).
The SSI is funded by general tax revenue and not Social Security trust fund. The benefits are usually in cash form and they assist the eligible to meet basic needs including clothing, shelter and food. Income is essential in SSI. The more you earn, the less SSI you are entitled to and if your income is over the required limit, you cannot receive the payments.
The congress in recent years has been apprehensive that individuals who are ineligible can receive disability benefits. This is a major concern especially in cases where abuse of program, waste or fraud allegations is common. For example, it was proved that non-English speaking applicants were getting SSI benefits illegally using mediators who offer translation and related services at a fee to enable them apply for the program (United States, 1975).
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Daly, M. C., Burkhauser, R. V., & Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. (2001). The supplemental security income program. San Francisco, Calif.: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
United States. (1975). Administration of the supplemental security income program: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, September 8, 1975. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
United States. (1976). Problems in administering supplemental security income for the aged, blind, and disabled, Social Security Administration, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare: Report to the Congress. Washington: U.S. General Accounting Office.