Supplemental Security Income

As we all age we may be asking ourselves “Will I have money to support myself when I retire?”  “Where will this money come from?”  “Will I have to work for the rest of my life?”  There are many ways someone can save for retirement.  However, many people are unaware of how social security/supplemental security income works, if they are eligible, and what steps to take.

  1. Do I Qualify for Social Security?
    Eligibility for social security depends on the monthly income of the individual.  One’s monthly income cannot exceed the present federal benefit rate.  This benefit rate changes with each passing year and it is important to discuss this with an attorney familiar with social security proceedings.

  2. When Can I Start Receiving Social Security? 
    An individual can start receiving this income at age 62.  However, the full amount the individual is eligible for will not be paid out until that individual turns 65. There are exceptions to this and it is important to discuss those exceptions with an experienced SSI attorney.

  3. I Am the Spouse of Someone Receiving SSI.
    Can I Receive Their SSI?  In certain situations, a spouse of an individual receiving SSI is entitled to receive a portion of that individual’s SSI benefits.  However, these circumstances are limited to situations where the spouse is only receiving a certain amount of benefits themselves, is a certain age, and can prove they are a “spouse” as defined by the SSI rules.  It is important to note that divorce spouses, children, and even parents can receive one’s SSI benefits in certain circumstances.

  4. How Do I Apply for SSI? 
    The first step in applying for SSI Benefits is to discuss the process with a qualified attorney.  The attorney will submit an application on your behalf which the Social Security Administration will make an initial determination on.  If you disagree with the Administration’s decision, there is an appeals process and the request can be reconsidered.

In sum, many individuals qualify for supplemental security income but do not know about it.  It is important to discuss your options with a qualified attorney so that you can start planning for your retirement.

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