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What is Supplemental Security Income?

Many New Jerseyans know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits. But, less know that the SSA offers both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This post will dive more deeply into what SSI is and who is eligible to receive it.

SSI benefits are designed to be a safety net for those of limited means. These benefits are not based on a recipient's work history. Instead, they flow from general taxes. Thus, New Jerseyans can receive SSI benefits, even if they have not accumulated sufficient taxable income.

That said, monthly SSI payments are not one-size-fits-all. Rather, each person receives an amount that is tied to their income and resources, up to a certain amount, set by federal law.

To qualify, New Jerseyans must meet certain income requirements. The basic metric is whether the person has $2,000 or less, including cash on-hand and whatever they have in the bank. This number increases to $3,000 for married couples.

Note that some items may be excluded. For instance, owning a home does not necessarily disqualify a person from receiving SSI. Nor will owning a vehicle -- depending on the value of the car. A vehicle with a fair market value of no more than $4,500 will be ignored for SSI purposes.

As these exceptions highlight, SSI benefits have a number of knots that need to be handled properly. In fact, the SSA's rules are among the most complicated in the country. New Jerseyans interested in navigating those rules may benefit from speaking with an experienced Supplemental Security Income attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?," accessed on May 10, 2016

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  • Toll Free: 877-892-0197
  • Fax: 973-364-1348
  • Phone: 973-200-6629
  • Toll Free: 877-892-0197
  • Phone: 609-207-7905