Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will get an extra payment this month, as September is one of three months when the benefit is paid twice.
SNAP Benefits: How Long Do They Last?
Find Out: 7 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Reach Your Retirement Goals
The first payment, a maximum of $841, was issued on Sept. 1. The second payment, also for up to $841, will be sent out at the end of the month. However, the $1,682 maximum total for September is only for single recipients, the Washington Examiner reported.
An eligible individual with an eligible spouse receives up to $1,261 per payment, while a stipend of $421 per payment goes to those living with or providing for SSI beneficiaries.
The SSI program is overseen by the Social Security Administration and provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits, according to the SSA website. SSI payments are also made to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.
You might be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you already receive Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits. About 7.6 million people receive SSI benefits.
Not everyone gets the same amount, according to the SSA. You might get more if you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment, or get less if you have other income such as wages, pensions or Social Security benefits. You might also get less if someone pays your household expenses, or if you live with a spouse who has income.
Because of the way the system works, two SSI payments are sent in September, April and December. But that doesn’t mean you’re getting extra money. It’s to make up for the three months that no payments are sent out: January, May and October.
Most of the program’s beneficiaries are within 150% of the federal poverty level, CNBC reported, citing research from the Urban Institute. Beneficiaries who live in states that supplement SSI might get above the federal poverty level, but most beneficiaries struggle financially.
“SSI just provides a bare-bones support for older people and people with disabilities. It really highlights how little support we provide for the most vulnerable Americans,” Richard Johnson, director of the program on retirement policy at the Urban Institute, told CNBC.
Some lawmakers want to update the SSI program so it provides more financial relief. A pair of U.S. senators from Ohio — Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman — introduced a bill earlier this year that would let SSI beneficiaries hold more assets without jeopardizing their benefits, CNBC reported. Co-sponsors of the bill include Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.
Among other things, the bill would raise the asset caps for SSI beneficiaries. Currently, the caps are $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. Assets subject to the limit are those that can be turned into cash, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds or other property. As CNBC noted, the caps have not changed since 1984. Under Brown and Portman’s bill, the caps would be raised to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for couples.
More From GOBankingRates