Supplemental Security Income. The SSI Program Background

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1 Supplemental Security Income Social Security Administration The SSI Program Background n Cash assistance program n Administered by SSA n Authorized by Title XVI of the Social Security Act in 1972 n Assures a minimum income level to eligible individuals n Paid from general revenues Social Security Administration 1

2 Basic Eligibility Categorical Eligibility n Aged n Blind n Disabled Basic Eligibility Needs Based Criteria n Limited Income n Limited Resources Social Security Administration 2

3 Basic Eligibility Additional Criteria n Resident of the 50 States, D.C., or NMI n Citizen of the U.S. or qualified alien n Not a resident of a public institution n Not absent from the U.S. n File for other benefits n Permission to verify bank accounts Who is Not Eligible? n Fugitive felons n Person violating parole or probation n Prisoners n People in public institutions n People who transfer resources Social Security Administration 3

4 SSI versus SSDI SSI Funded by General Revenues Not required to be insured Benefits begin when approved Up to 6 months presumptive disability No retroactivity for benefits No auxiliary benefits available Categorical eligibility for Medicaid (most States) SSDI Funded db by taxes (FICA) Must be insured Benefits paid 5 months after approved onset date No presumptive disability benefits Up to 12 months retroactivity Auxiliary benefits for spouse and children Qualify for Medicare after 24 months What Is Income? n Income is anything an individual receives during a month and can use to meet his or her needs for food or shelter. Income can be: n In cash; or n In kind food or shelter hl or something you can use to get food or shelter Social Security Administration 4

5 SSI Income n SSI guarantees a minimum level of income. n The more income a person has, the less SSI he gets. The less income he has, the more SSI he gets, up to a maximum. SSI Income Limits n A person s countable income cannot exceed the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). n FBR Amounts n Individual $733 n Couple $1,100 Social Security Administration 5

6 State Supplemental Payments Some States pay a supplement based on: n your living arrangement; n your disability; or n your geographical location There are 2 Types of Income for SSI Earned Income n Wages n Self employment n Royalties n Sheltered workshop payments Unearned Income n Social Security n Unemployment n Interest n Gifts n Any other income that is not earned. Social Security Administration 6

7 What Income Does Not Count? We do not count: n n n n n n n n the first $20 ofincome in a month; the first $65 of earned income plus one half of the remaining earned income; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamps); assistance based on need from a State/local government; loans; irregular or infrequent income; employment related exclusions; and other income excluded by law What is In Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM)? ISM is income in the form of food or shelter received from someone directly or because someoneelse else pays for it. Social Security Administration 7

8 How is ISM Counted? We count ISM in one of two ways: n If you live in another person s household and do not pay for food and shelter you get from the household, we reduce your SSI benefit by 1/3 (VTR) ($244.33). n If a person receives food or shelter from anyone else, we reduce his SSI benefit by up to 1/3 plus $20 or the actual value if less (PMV) ($264.33). How We Figure the Payment Eligibility Computation If a person is otherwise eligible, we determine if they are income eligible We use the income for the current (computation) month to compute payment eligibility in that month We subtract countable income from the FBR If greater than or equal to zero, they are eligible Payment Computation If payment eligible, we compute payment amount We use Retrospective Monthly Accounting Payment is based on countable income from two months prior to the computation month We subtract countable income from the FBR to determine the payment Social Security Administration 8

9 What are SSI Resources? Resources arecash or other liquid assets or real or personal property that an individual owns and could convert to cash to be used for his or her support and maintenance. Resource Limits Countable resources cannot exceed: n $2,000 for an individual n $3,000 for a couple Social Security Administration 9

10 First of the Month Rule The SSI resource determination is made as of the first moment of the month. That value applies during the rest of the month. If the value of resources changes during the month, it is not considered until the first moment of the next month. Distinction Between Income and Resources Anything received during a month is evaluated under income counting counting rules in that month. If that item is retained until the following month, it is evaluated under resource counting rules in the following month. If an individual sells or exchanges a resource, what he receives is not income, but conversion of a resource. Social Security Administration 10

11 What Resources Do Not Count? n Home n Household goods and personal effects n An automobile n Life insurance n Burial plots and burial funds n Property essential to self support n Other resources excluded by law What is Deeming? n When there are certain connections between people, we consider a part of the other person s income and resources as available to the SSI recipient. n We apply income and resource exclusions to the deemor s income and allocations for the spouse and ineligible children. Social Security Administration 11

12 When Does Deeming Apply? n When a person who is eligible lives with an ineligible ibl spouse, we may count some of the spouse s income and resources. n When a child under 18 lives with parents who do not receive SSI, we may count some of the parent s income and resources. n When an alien has a sponsor, we may count some of the sponsor s income and resources. Living Arrangements Your SSI benefit may depend on where you live. Your SSI is reduced if: n You live in your own house, apartment, etc. and someone else pays all or part of the food or shelter costs. n You live in someone else s household and you only pay part of your share of food and housing. Social Security Administration 12

13 Living Arrangements n You are in a hospital or nursing home for a whole month and Medicaid pays over 1/2 of the bill ($30 maximum). n You are in an institution run by Federal, State or local government for a month (Ineligible). Residents of Public Institutions n Under the Social Security Act, inmates of public institutions generally are not eligible ibl for SSI. n There are some exceptions, but the exceptions do not apply to correctional institutions. Social Security Administration 13

14 Throughout a Month Rule n Someone who resides in a correctional facility throughout h t a month cannot be eligible ibl for SSI for that month. n Someone who applies for SSI while residing in a public institution cannot be eligible for SSI payments py until the first day of the month following the month of release. Continuing Eligibility Requirements to report any changes affecting eligibility or payment amount Computer matching Redeterminations Third Party data Social Security Administration 14

15 Children's Income Issues Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Foster Care Adoption Assistance Child Care Child Support Student Earned Income Exclusion Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) TANF replaced AFDC in 1996 Uses income as a factor of eligibility Partially funded by Federal block grants Simultaneous eligibility for TANF and SSI okay TANF in categorized as income based on need (IBON) and counted dollar for dollar for SSI $20 general income exclusion does not apply State only programs treatment varies Social Security Administration 15

16 Foster Care For SSI, payment to care provider to meet the needs of the individual id lin care Treatment for SSI depends on the funding source, purpose and whether the recipient is the provider or recipient of care Only the payment for the individual in care is foster care for SSI Individual in care Title IV E Foster Care Payments under Title IV E are income based on need (IBON) and counted dollar for dollar for SSI $20 general income exclusion does not apply Exception Section 477 (Independent Living Initiatives) are social service payments and not income Care Provider Foster Care payments are not income, but amount in excess is (incentive) Social Security Administration 16

17 Title IV B and Title XX Foster Care Foster care payments under Title IB B and Title XX are social ilservice payments and not income for SSI State and Local Funded Foster Care Foster care payments may be funded solely by State t or local lgovernments Payments wholly funded by a State or Local government and that uses income as a factor of eligibility is assistance based on need (ABON) for SSI ABON is excluded from income counting Social Security Administration 17

18 Adoption Assistance Adoption assistance programs provide payments and/or services to remove barriers and increase adoption of children with special needs Treatment for SSI depends on source of the funding and purpose p of the py payments Title IV E Adoption Assistance Change in the law effective 10/01/09 Applicable Child Meets age requirements Been in foster care for at least 60 months Sibling of an applicable child Cash payments made to adoptive parents on Cash payments made to adoptive parents on behalf of an applicable child are unearned income (subject to $20 GIE) Social Security Administration 18

19 Title IV E Adoption Assistance Non applicable child Meets old eligibility requirements Needs based payments and Federal funding Counted dollar for dollar as income based on need (IBON) for SSI, not subject to $20 GIE Kinship Guardian Assistance payments Counted dollar for dollar as income based on need (IBON) for SSI, not subject to $20 GIE Other Adoption Assistance Adoption assistance under Title IV B or Title XX are social ilservice payments and are not income for SSI Adoption assistance wholly funded by State or local governments and based on need of the child are excluded from income for SSI (ABON) Other assistance subject to general income rules Social Security Administration 19

20 Other Child Income Issues Child Care Child care under the Child Care and Development tblock Grant tati Act is excluded d from income for SSI Child Support Child support payments from an absent parent are income to the child, but we exclude one third of the payment py from income Early Filing of Applications for Disabled Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care Generally, children receiving Title IV E foster care payments are not eligible for SSI until payments stop due to excess income In most States, foster care ends at age 18 In order to assist in the transition to adult status, SSAwill acceptapplicationsapplications for SSI from a child up to 90 days prior to termination of foster care Social Security Administration 20

21 Early Filing of Applications for Disabled Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care The claimant may file an SSI application if he or she: lives in a foster care situation alleges blindness or disability appears likely to meet all of the non medical eligibility requirements when foster care payments terminate expects the foster care payments to cease within 90 days of the application filing date, and is within 90 days of losing foster care eligibility because of age What Are Work Incentives Work Incentives are SSA rules that help beneficiaries keep their benefits as they explore work. By using Work Incentives beneficiariescan can make more money, gain new skills, and achieve greater independence through work. Work Incentives Social Security Administration 21

22 Student Earned Income Exclusion for SSI recipient must be regularly attending school Exclude up to $1780/month of earned income, up to a calendar year total of $7,180 Continued Payment under Vocational Rehabilitation Plan Section 301 Continuation benefits after found to be no longer disabled medical recovery if participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation plan that is likely to lead to selfsupport. Social Security Administration 22

23 Continued Payment under Vocational Rehabilitation Plan - Section 301 Person must have begun participating in the program before the date his/her disability ceased. Social Security determines whether a person s completion of program, or continuation in program for a specified period of time, will increase likelihood that person will not have to return to disability or blindness benefit rolls. Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) ELEMENTS OF A PASS Be in writing (SSA 545) State a job goal or VR evaluation Contain a reasonable and measurable timeframe List expenses that are necessaryto achieve the work goal Examples Social Security Administration 23

24 SSA Issues Tickets to SSDI or SSI Beneficiaries The Ticket program is voluntary. It provides: Increase choice of employment services Local benefit planning services Simpler process to restart benefits if disability again prevents continuing employment. Red Book For more information about SSA s Work Incentive programs please visit: iit (TTY ) Social Security Administration 24

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