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Considering income and resources when applying for SSI benefits

Any of our Los Angeles readers who are familiar with previous posts here know that there is a difference when applying for and receiving Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability benefits. SSD benefits are awarded to those who have the requisite employment history, in addition to having a qualifying medical condition. SSI benefits, on the other hand, can be awarded to a person regardless of their previous employment history.

Another defining characteristic of Supplemental Security Income is that an applicant's income and financial resources will be examined in determining whether or not benefits will be awarded. SSI is typically reserved for Americans who are facing the most dire of financial situations. An individual will usually receive a monthly benefit in the amount of $733. A couple will usually receive $1,100. However, that amount can be adjusted downward if there is a certain amount of income reported.

An applicant's financial resources will be examined as well. But, this doesn't include some of the most commonly owned items, like a car or a house. Instead, the Social Security Administration will examine whether or not an applicant has any bank accounts with significant cash balances, or if the person owns stocks or bonds.

Just like Social Security Disability, qualifying for Supplemental Security Income comes with its own unique challenges. There are certain requirements that must be met. When applying for SSI benefits, it is important to know the requirements and make sure you are putting together your best application on the first attempt.

Source: SSA.gov, "You May Be Able To Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)," Accessed June 21, 2015

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