How To Boost Your Social Security Benefit With Supplemental Security Income

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The Supplemental Security Income program provides a monthly benefit to adults and children with a disability or blindness and resources below specific financial limits. SSI payments are also made to people ages 65 and older who meet the financial qualifications even if they’re not disabled.

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The Social Security Administration states that you may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you are already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits.

How It Works

SSI is a federal program funded by tax dollars, not Social Security taxes. It pays out monthly payments to meet the basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. The base amount varies depending on your living arrangement and countable income, which means not everyone receives the same amount. 

You may receive more if your state adds to SSI payments. Alternatively, you may receive less if you have income from other sources, like wages, pensions or Social Security benefits. You can also receive less if someone pays your household expenses for you or you live with a spouse who contributes income to your household.

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You may be able to receive SSI if you are single and have resources worth less than $2,000, or you are married and have resources worth less than $3,000.

Resources are things you own, such as:

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks
  • U.S. savings bonds
  • Land
  • Life insurance
  • Personal property
  • Vehicles
  • Anything else you own that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter

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Online applications are not available online for those who are 65 and older. If you are 65 or over and would like to apply to see if you can receive SSI, you will need to call (800) 772-1213 to make an appointment to file your application. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call the SSA at TTY (800) 325-0778.

The SSA will then review your application and your resources, and mail a decision to you in the mail.

Once you have applied, you can call the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or, for TTY, (800) 325-0778, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to check the status of the application.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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