Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Supplemental Security Income

Academic journal article Social Security Bulletin

Supplemental Security Income

Article excerpt

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, provides income support to persons aged 65 or older, blind or disabled adults, and blind or disabled children. Eligibility requirements and federal payment standards are nationally uniform. The 2002 federal SSI benefit rate for an individual living in his or her own household and with no other countable income is $545 monthly; for a couple (with both husband and wife eligible), the SSI benefit rate is $817 monthly.

Payments under SSI began in January 1974 . It replaced the former federal-state adult assistance programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under SSI each eligible person is provided a monthly cash payment based on a statutory federal benefit rate. Since 1975, these rates have been increased by the same percentage, as the cost-of-living increases in OASDI benefits. If an individual or couple is living in another person's household and is receiving both food and shelter from the person in whose household they are living, the federal benefit rate is reduced by one-third. This is done instead of determining the actual dollar value of the in-kind support and maintenance.

For institutionalized persons, the eligibility requirements and payment standards depend on the type of institution. With some exceptions, inmates of public institutions are ineligible for SSI. For persons institutionalized for a complete calendar month, a maximum federal SSI payment of $30 per month applies where (1) the institution receives a substantial part of the cost of the person's care from the Medicaid program, or (2) recipients under age 18 whose private health insurance is making payments to the institution,. …

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