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How are SSI benefits calculated?

Many of our Los Angeles readers already know that Supplemental Security Income is oftentimes available to disabled children, certain individuals over the age of 65 and some people who suffer from blindness. Slowly but surely, the general public is becoming more educated about the Social Security programs that provide benefits to millions of Americans every year. However, there is one thing that many people may not know: How are SSI benefits calculated?

For starters, there are certain maximum amounts which cannot be exceeded. In 2015, a single individual who is eligible for Supplemental Security Income will not receive a monthly benefit that exceeds $733. That is a total of $8,804.43 per year. An eligible couple will receive a monthly benefit that cannot exceed $1,100 per month. That comes out to $13,205.18 per year.

The good news is that these benefits are subject to small increases each year. The increases, known as "cost-of-living" or COLA increases, are calculated annually. For example, the most recent COLA increase of 1.7 percent went into effect in January of this year.

Even though these monthly benefit amounts may not seem like a great deal of money, the fact is that these benefits help millions of American families make ends meet on a month-to-month basis. For some, these funds are benefits to cover the basic necessities. For others, the funds may be used to cover medical expenses. Either way, a qualifying individual or couple in Los Angeles could benefit from receiving this type of financial assistance each month.

Source: www.ssa.gov, "SSI Federal Payment Amounts for 2015," Accessed April 5, 2015

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