Supplemental Security Income, commonly abbreviated as SSI, is a needs-dependent program that pays monthly benefits for those who are blind, elderly, or have a disability. For disabled individuals who haven’t ever had a job or those who have completed enough years of work to qualify for SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance, SSI may be the only Social Security program available for them. However, the SSI has rigorous criteria to qualify for financially, as it has extremely low-income limits and assets limits.

How Much Can I Get From SSI?

The monthly benefit paid by the SSI program is determined by the federal benefit rate or FBR. In 2017, the FBR is $735 a month for persons and $1,103 for couples. Keep in mind; the FBR increases every year if there is a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

The FBR is the maximum federal monthly SSI payment. The money you’ve received during the month, minus particular exclusions, can be subtracted from your federal monthly SSI benefit. Also, state benefits can be added to your federal monthly benefits.


State Supplements

In most U.S. states, there is a state supplement that is added to the federal benefit payment. Every state excluding Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia adds money to the federal SSI benefit. The amount of the state supplement differs from state to state, from $10 to $200, and also depends if you’re single or married and whether you stay in a nursing home, assisted living, on your own, or with others.


Concurrent SSI and SSDI Benefits

For people who receive a low SSDI payment, Supplemental Security Income does just as its name says; it supplements. For instance, if a disabled individual receives SSDI monthly benefits in the amount of $290, an SSI award could be used to confirm that the individual’s total monthly benefits equal the minimum SSI amount, which is $735 a month right now. The SSDI recipient would get an additional $445 in SSI to bring their total monthly benefits to $735, a sum equal to the complete SSI monthly benefit allowance.

Naturally, this situation will not occur in every case. Due to SSI having asset limits (currently, a person cannot have more than $2,000 in disposable assets), many SSDI beneficiaries won’t be able to receive Supplemental Security Income, regardless of how low their SSDI benefit amount is.