SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is
a program run by the Social Security Administration. SSI provides monthly
benefits to persons who are elderly, blind, or disabled and have limited
income and assets. People who receive SSI are usually eligible for other
programs, such as Medical Assistance and food stamps.
Who is eligible for SSI benefits?
The eligibility requirements for SSI are:
1) To get SSI benefits, you must be elderly,
blind, or disabled.
2) In Wisconsin, you must have a monthly income
below $603 if you are single and below $904 if you are married. (There
are different income limits for other states). Income includes: Social
Security benefits, pensions, work earnings, and non-cash items (such as
food, clothing, or shelter). Food stamps, housing assistance, and home
energy assistance are not counted as income. If you work, different income
Elderly means that you are 65 or older.
Blind means that you are totally blind or
have very poor eyesight.
Disabled means that you have a physical or
mental problem that is expected to last more than 12 months or result in
3) You must also have assets below a certain
amount to be eligible for SSI. The asset limit for a single person is $2,000
and if you are married the limit is $3,000. Assets which are counted are:
cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real property that is not your home,
and some other types of property and liquid assets. Your home and some
of your personal belongings do not count. Your car, burial plots and funds
within certain limits, and life insurance within certain limits may also
be excluded when the value of your assets is determined.
4) To receive SSI, you must live in one
of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., or the Northern Mariana Islands.
You can not be absent from the county for a full calendar month or
more than 30 consecutive days. You
are also required to be either a U.S. citizen; a lawful permanent resident
with 40 work credits; or fall within certain groups of American Indians,
noncitizens with a military service connection, refugees or asylees during
the first seven years, or noncitizens receiving SSI on August 22, 1996.
SSI State Supplement
The State of Wisconsin offers additional
benefits to its residents. If you live in Wisconsin and are eligible for
SSI, you may also be eligible for the SSI State Supplement. If you are
single, you may receive $83.78 from the state. If you are married, you
may receive $132.05.
You can also receive a higher state supplement,
called SSI-E, if you have exceptional needs. To get this higher amount,
you will need to request an "SSI-E assessment".
You should contact the SSI/State Supplement
hotline at 1-800-675-0249 (if you live in the Madison area, call 221-0148)
for application and eligibility information.
Where can I apply for SSI?
You can apply for SSI benefits at your
local Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment
with a representative. You can call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm
on business days. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call the
"TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778.