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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

We are frequently asked about SSI because most of parents who seek guardianship will also make an SSI application. However, we not certified to represent individuals in an appeal from a denial of SSI. The following is some general information to help guide you through the process.

This is a benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The benefit is a “needs” based benefit for people who are aged, blind, or disabled and have limited assets and limited income. The person cannot have countable assets of more than $2,000 and most income received will decrease the monthly SSI payment. Each year SSA determines the maximum monthly payment for someone who qualifies for SSI.

Additionally, in some circumstances if someone else pays for food and shelter costs of an SSI recipient, the SSI payment will be further reduced.

There is no online application process for SSI benefits. You must make an appointment and be interviewed at the local Social Security Administration office. The interviewer will gather information about your medical condition, medications, hospitalizations, as well as financial information.

Once approved for SSI, you must report, among other things, any inco me received, address changes;. asset changes, marital changes, and the existence of any trust in which you are a beneficiary, even if you are not the trustee and cannot control the distributions. If SSA later determines that you were paid too much, SSA will request that the money be refunded to SSA. They can agree to a payment plan or to a reduced monthly payment going forward if you are still eligible for benefits.

If you are receiving SSI payments and then give away an asset, that may result in a suspension of your benefits or a reduction in the amount you receive. The benefits are very important but also must be managed properly.

While we do not practice in the area of Social Security eligibility our firm has been assisting clients with guardianship and special needs planning for over 20 years.  Call us today to schedule a consultation 480-348-1590 if you need assistance in those areas and best wishes on your SSI application. 

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