Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), benefits many recipients who suffer from a disabling condition or who aren’t eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSI amounts vary across the country as some states opt in to provide additional money to the federal SSI benefit amount. We're focusing on the Florida only.In the Sunshine State, SSI can provide a regular monthly income to people who meet specific requirements. SSI is paid out of general U.S. Treasury fund, not from Social Security taxes, so to be eligible you do not have to have worked a certain amount of time, or paid FICA taxes. However, recipients must be age 65 and older, blind or disabled, and have limited income and financial resources. Children may also qualify for SSI if they are disabled and the SSA determines that their disability affects their every day life.
Maximum Income and Resources to Qualify for SSI in Florida
In 2019, to receive SSI an individual cannot earn more than $771 a month, or $9,252 per year. For couples, maximum earning cannot exceed $1,157 a month, or $12,884 per year. These amounts are also the maximum monthly payments from federal funds SSI recipients can earn; so, basically doubling your income.
It's important to note that what constitutes income, however, can be a grey area; the SSA has a lengthy list of which type of earnings, payments, and non-cash assistance are considered "countable income" when it comes to determining SSI eligibility and payment.
What Does the SSA Consider Countable Income?
Broadly, the SSA considers cash and financial assets that can be turned into cash, such as stocks, bonds or property, as countable income if they exceed $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. This does not include your home or land, vehicle, most household items, life insurance valued at under $1,500, or burial plots.
While this list is not comprehensive, here are some additional forms of income the SSA does not count when determining your eligibility for SSI:
- The first $20 a month of most income you receive
- The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
- Shelter received from private nonprofit organizations
- Most home energy assistance
Staying Informed on SSI in Florida
With new laws and amendments being passed each day, staying up-to-date with how your disability benefits are affected can be a bit confusing, especially if you have a child under the age of 18 who you are applying for.
If you want to learn more about Supplemental Security Income, contact a professional disability advocate today. We can advise you on your situation and even help you go through the application process.