Preliminary Issues: SSI
Do I meet income and assets requirements?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has restrictions on income and assets. You can qualify for SSI benefits only if you have very limited resources. The limited is known as the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). For 2012, FBR is $698.00 for an individual and $1,048.00 for a couple. Most states supplement this amount, and allow for higher levels of income. In California, for 2012, the maximum income is $854.40 (due to a supplement of $156.40) for an individual and $1,444.20 (due to a supplement of $396.20) for a couple. There are no allowances for regional difference within the state. Whether you live in (expensive) San Francisco, or (relatively cheaper) Ukiah, the income limits are the same. These income limitations apply to all forms of income, whether earned (through work) or unearned (through investments, capital gains, or gifts).
Assets are also capped for SSI recipients. A single person may have no more than $2,000.00 in resources in order to qualify for SSI. A couple is limited to $3,000.00 in resources. Resources are anything of value that can be converted to cash to provide for the applicant’s support. Some assets are exempted, i.e., not counted toward available resources. Exemptions include: the value of your residence, household goods, personal effects, one automobile, housing assistance.