Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
(SSI) pays monthly cash benefits to individuals with limited income and limited resources. The Social Security Administration administers this federal program. If eligible, individuals may receive both SSI and Social Security benefits. And, in most states, a person who is receiving SSI benefits is automatically eligible for health benefits under Medicaid.
To qualify for SSI, individuals or couples must meet certain guidelines. They must be aged 65 or older, or blind, or disabled. They must be U.S. citizens, with certain exceptions for non-citizens. They must not have resources (cash and savings) of more than:
$2,000 ( 1 person)
$3,000 ( 2 person)
Certain resources, like the home, a small burial fund, or one car, usually do not count. To be eligible for SSI benefits, monthly income must not exceed :
$514 ( 1 person)
$761 ( 2 person)
How Much Could Someone Receive?
The amount of the SSI benefit will depend on the income an individual or couple receives. The maximum monthly federal SSI benefit is: $494 ( 1 person) $741 ( 2 person) Many states provide extra income above the federal guidelines.
Social Security Retirement Benefits And Grandchildren
A fairly recent phenomenon in American households is the growing incidence of grandparents taking over as parents for their grandchildren. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 3 million of America’s 70 million children now live with their grandparents. Whatever the reason, more and more grandparents find themselves assuming the role of parents. And when this happens, it’s helpful to know that Social Security may be able to help with the financial burden.
If a parent is deceased or drawing disability or retirement benefits, the children may qualify for benefits on that parent’s earnings record. If that’s not the case, then Social Security may recognize the grandparent as the “parent” for benefit purposes.
When the grandparent retires, becomes disabled, or dies, the grandchild may then be able to qualify for benefits if certain conditions are met. Generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent.
In addition, the grandchild must have begun living with the grandparent before age 18 and received at least one half of his or her support from the grandparent for the year before the month the grandparent became entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits or died. Also, the natural parent(s) of the child must not be making regular contributions to his or her support.
If the grandchild was born during the one-year period, the grandparent must have lived with and provided at least one-half of the child’s support for substantially all of the period from the date of birth to the month the grandparent became entitled to benefits.
The grandchild may qualify for benefits under these circumstances, even if her or she is a step-grandchild. However, if the grandparents are already receiving benefits, they would need to adopt the child for it to qualify for benefits.”
Gail R. Mitchell