Supplemental Security Income (SSI), is a federal program that provides monthly payments to people who have limited income and few resources. SSI is for people who are 65 or older, as well as people of any age, including children, who are blind or who have disabilities. It is a social safety net to meet the needs of food and shelter.
In some cases, you can receive SSI Benefits for Disabled Children simultaneously with SSA, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Some of the typical impairments that often qualify for benefits are blindness, Autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, etc. The criteria for eligibility is not exclusively linked to a diagnosis, but rather the person's ability to achieve Substantial Gainful Employment.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is typically the first benefit your loved one will be eligible to receive at age 18. The SSI Benefit Amount for Disabled Child is $794 per month (as of 2021). Note: Some states may supplement the SSI benefit, i.e., CA adds $160.72/month for a potential maximum total of $954.72/mo.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is not available to any/everyone; it is a social safety net only available to eligible recipients to receive the financial benefit.
Before applying for SSI Benefits, it is helpful to identify the requirements and ascertain whether you qualify for benefits.
The following are the SSI Benefits Eligibility requirements to be a recipient of SSI (Supplemental Security Income):
The SSI benefit begins at the age of 18 years. Children under 18 years may be eligible based on their parents income and assets. For typical aged people, the minimum age is 65 years.
A beneficiary must be a citizen of the U.S., a qualified alien, or a national. The person should also be a resident of any of the 50 states in the U.S., the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana.
For applicants below 65 years (aged people), blindness or any other “severe” disability is a factor to be considered for eligibility.
There are also income and assets limits to be eligible for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). An individual must have assets less than $2,000 / $3,000 couples, in their names. They also can have a maximum of $1,260/month of income(as of 2020).
Eligibility guidelines for Social Security forbid the duplication of these requirements by others. Non-compliance could result in forfeiture or reduction of benefits and the payback for those previously received. (This could also include payback for overpayment of Social Security cash benefits.)
*Assets in Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts are not considered to be “countable resources” by Social Security.
Refer to https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/ for current requirements.
Having identified the requirements for SSI Benefits Eligibility and ascertained whether you qualify, the next step for eligible people is to proceed to the application stage. The process can be seamless if you already have all the documents and information required to commence and complete the process. People who do not have the complete documents or requirements to complete the process can ask Social Security for assistance.
The following are the requirements for the application process for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits. Make sure to double check with the person doing your intake. When you make an appointment with SSI to apply for benefits, they will let you know the items you will need to bring:
1. Social Security Number.
2. Residential details, such as address/lease/mortgage/property owner/rental fee (including confirmation letter).
3. Certificate of birth or age declaration proof.
4. Proof of the citizenship of the U.S. or eligible non-citizen status.
5. Proof of medical services received, which contains the names, phone numbers, addresses of the doctors who provided the medical service.
6. Checkbook account for direct check deposit.
7. Proof of payroll slips, bank accounts, burial fund records, insurance policies, any other documents/information about the applicants' assets and income.
Having prepared the documents above, the applicant can visit the Social Security website to apply or call your local SSA office to make an appointment to apply for SSI. If you cannot call to schedule an appointment, you can ask someone to contact the SSA and complete an application appointment on your behalf.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) may be the only source of hope for food and shelter and medical support (Medicaid) for many families. It is important to apply for SSI benefits before an emergency occurs. Anyone receiving $1.00 of SSI benefit is automatically enrolled in Medicaid. The government can move slowly, once approved, it can take a period of weeks or months to actually receive benefits. Many people wonder if their child can receive SSI benefits and an inheritance. It depends . . . without proper planning, if a previously eligible SSI recipient receives more than $2000 in their name, SSI and Medicaid benefits will be suspended until the account falls below the $2000 threshold. That means the person will need to know how to handle this situation. Often, there is little or incomplete information provided on the topic. Often recipients are told they need to “spend-down” the excess money. While this is one possible solution, it is not the only one. What if it makes more sense to save the excess funds? There are other options available, such as ABLE accounts and Special Needs Trusts, but without knowing these options, many people feel forced to frivolously spend excess dollars to prevent their benefits from being affected.
Families who have embarked on Special Needs Planning to secure the future of their children, know that having a properly drafted special needs trust will allow their child living with a disability, to receive government benefits AND be able to receive an inheritance and/or other gifts without impacting benefit eligibility. Assets in a Special Needs Trust are defined to be supplemental to the government benefits one receives. The government recognizes that it is unlikely one can live on government benefits alone. This is why resources such as different types of Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts were created and updated; to help those living with a disability to achieve a better life experience.
Serenitas Special Needs Planning can be of great assistance in helping you ensure that you properly plan for the future of your loved ones. We offer you the opportunity to craft the kind of lifestyle you envision for your child, both while you are here and when you are not.
In the 1950s, the lifespan of a person living with Down Syndrome was around 30 years. It was generally assumed that the child would pass away before their parents and future planning was never a consideration. Since that time, science and medicine has made great advances, increasing the lifespan of those living with Down Syndrome to 60, 70 or 80 years! This means that planning is no longer an option but a necessity.
If you do not have a plan for your family, the good news is, the government has a plan for you. This is also the bad news. No one understands and cares for your family the way you do. Certainly not the government! If you pass without a plan, the courts will decide who gets your estate and who will care for your minor and adult incapacitated children. Can you imagine your child being assigned to live with someone whom the court decides? What if it is an irresponsible family member? The court has no idea who your family is or what is best for your children. You can avoid all these potential problems by developing a plan for your family. You will be able to make your decisions known now, while you are here, and have the peace-of-mind knowing you have a comprehensive plan in place that you are in control of.
It is important to make proper plans and preparation for your children and the entire family: financially, emotionally, and otherwise. To do so proactively, when you can be thoughtful, is far preferable to having to put a plan together during a family crisis. You can determine who will be your kids’ guardian or conservator, how and where they will live, the school they would attend, employment, religious affiliation, and so on, even after your death. You can prepare a Special Needs Trust for your disabled child. It allows them to receive SSI benefits AND have supplemental assets for their continued quality of life.
Let us help you address issues concerning Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Family Trusts, Guardianship / Conservatorship, Government Benefit coordination, Financial projections, ABLE accounts, and more. With over 40 years of combined experience; we also collaborate with other professional advisors to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page
The following are areas Serenitas Special Needs Planning will help you realize your dreams and allay your concerns for your loved ones.
We are a team of thorough professionals when it comes to dealing with Special Needs planning, including Special Needs Trusts, Government Benefit coordination, Budget/Financial planning, and Lifestyle planning.
A special needs trust is a legal arrangement and fiduciary relationship that allows a physically or mentally disabled or chronically ill person to receive income without reducing their eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, or Medicaid. In a fiduciary relationship, a person or entity acts on behalf of another person or people to manage assets.
We are committed to educating families in managing their assets to ensure that they don’t face the risk of losing government benefits due to possession of “countable” assets beyond the limit.
We also help you prepare all related documents that make up a comprehensive Special Needs Plan. This includes a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust (Family Trust), the appropriate Special Needs Trust, and Powers of Attorney for family members.
We identify the benefits and the amount you should qualify for. Prior to your Social Security interview, we will have a “mock interview” with you so you may get comfortable with the process and give you an idea of what to expect at the Social Security office.
Conservatorship (called Adult Guardianship in some states) is a court order whereby a protector/guardian is appointed by a judge to stand in and manage a person’s daily life and financial affairs due to old age, mental, or physical limitations.
Our educational platforms such as conferences, seminars, and workshops are intentionally designed to teach you and your loved ones all you need to know about the different aspects that make up Comprehensive Special Needs Planning. The information addresses Legal Planning for Special Needs, Government Benefit analysis, SSI Benefits for Children, How to Maximize SSI Benefits, ABLE accounts, Budget / Financial Planning, and Lifestyle Planning.
The Special Needs Planning Institute is a non-profit educational platform whose members provide educational seminars on special needs planning throughout the Special Needs Community. We also provide legislative support services through the institute.
We’ve made the extra effort to compile 40 plus years of planning experiences into our planning book available on our educational platform to help you understand all you need to know about Special Needs Planning.
Be swift in taking the necessary step towards guaranteeing a secured future for your child. Plan now, while you're thinking about it, BEFORE the next crisis. Don’t wait until tomorrow; the time is now!