What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay benefits to individuals with limited income and resources who are blind, disabled, or age 65 or older. Some people confuse SSI with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).This is because SSI is similar to SSDI in that they both are administered by the SSA, they both pay monthly benefits, and they both use the same medical standards for disabled individuals aged 18 and older. 

Only blind or disabled children can receive SSI in Philadelphia. The medical standard for children aged 18 and younger uses a separate definition for “disability” under SSI.  The medical standard is based on the severity of the child’s disability. Philadelphia like most states does provide a supplement to the basic federal amount of SSI monthly benefits. The maximum monthly FBR (Federal Benefit Rate) depends on the recipient’s living arrangements, as does the manner in which the PA portion is paid.  

All states will award SSI to individuals who are blind, disabled, or age 65 or older, provided the value of their owned assets is below $2,000 for an Individual or a Child and $3,000 for a Married Couple. Generally, the value of a home, car, and certain other assets is excluded from calculating that value.  

Living Arrangements

An individual’s SSI & living arrangement depends on who pays for the food and shelter. 

An individual’s living arrangement is another factor used to determine how much SSI an individual is awarded. SSI benefits will vary based on whether the individual lives in:

  • Their own apartment, mobile home, or house.
  • Live in someone else’s house.
  • Live in a group care or board and care facility; or
  • Live in an institution such as a hospital or a nursing home. 

SSI benefits may be reduced depending on the living arrangements as well. If an individual lives with another person and pays less than their fair share of the food and housing costs or if an individual lives in their own home and someone else pays the food, rent, mortgage, electricity, gas, etc., then SSI benefits will be reduced. 

If the individual recipient is in a medical institution for 90 days or less or is homeless, they may still receive Supplemental Security Income benefits.  You do not need an address to collect SSI.

In-Kind Support & Maintenance

In-kind support and maintenance is food, shelter, or both, that somebody else provides for the individual. In-kind support is counted as income when SSI benefits are calculated. For example, if someone pays an individual’s rent or mortgage, provides food, or pays for utilities, the SSI amount is reduced. It is complicated to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of SSI benefits, without failing to disclose any payments which should be disclosed.  This is one important reason you should consult an SSI lawyer with experience in processing SSI claims.

If you live alone in an apartment

Suppose you live by yourself, and your only source of income is the SSI benefits you receive. Your aunt pays your rent of $800. The SSA counts this payment as in-kind support and maintenance. The rent payable is reduced by using the presumed maximum value (PMV) rule. The PMV is equal to 1/3rd of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) plus $20. According to the Table above, an individual who lives alone is entitled to a disability benefit of $794. 

The SSI FBR is $794.00 times 1/3rd of the SSI FBR of $794.00= $264.66 + $20 =$284.66. $284.66 is the PMV of the in-kind support and maintenance. Then the $284.66 is reduced by $20.00 for a general income exclusion amount, which equals $264.66 as the amount of the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance. The $794.00 Federal Benefit Rate minus the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance gives you the SSI benefit amount of $529.34

Contact a lawyer for SSI disability to determine the proper benefit amount for your specific situation. There are other examples of benefit calculations concerning many factors such as living in another person’s house, sharing expenses, living rent-free, and other variables that can make determining the proper benefit amount in PA very complex.

How an SSI Lawyer Can Help

We will fight for the benefits you for which you may qualify.. When you need the best SSI lawyer, all a Supplemental Security income lawyer now. Our Philadelphia Supplemental Security disability attorneys are compassionate, understanding, accessible and dedicated to helping you receive the proper amount of SSI benefits.

The PA Social Security disability lawyers at our Philadelphia law firm will help you navigate the PA SSI claim process. We represent Philadelphia disabled clients for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

Contact a Philadelphia Supplemental Security lawyer near you for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you and protect your rights. You can trust that we will give you r claim the PA SSI claim process expertise to help us achieve a successful PA SSI case.

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