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SSI benefits paid out of Treasury funds

The Social Security Administration is tasked with overseeing the Supplemental Security Income program, also referred to as SSI. The program is designed to provide safety net-style financial support for people who need it. Residents of Tennessee may qualify for SSI payments each month if they are blind, disabled or over 65 years of age; are lawful residents or citizens of the country; and earn only very limited income. For the year 2019, the standard for limited income under SSI is $771 per month for individuals and $1,157 per month for couples.

The Social Security Administration determines what qualifies as countable income. Some payments, earnings and other assistance will not count toward a person's income for SSI income limit purposes. Countable resources also must not exceed certain levels. Generally speaking, countable resources are those that can be readily converted into cash, like bonds, property or stocks. The home a person lives in, the vehicle a person drives and household goods are generally not considered countable resources.

The Social Security Administration evaluates SSI claims on a case-by-case basis, so it can be difficult to predict actions or rulings in a particular case. SSI benefits come from the funds of the U.S. Treasury and not from Social Security tax payments. There is no requirement of previous work or FICA payments for a person to qualify for SSI benefits.

People in Tennessee who have questions about SSI benefits and their eligibility might want to meet with an attorney. An attorney who has experience with SSI claims may be able to help by reviewing the client's circumstances and putting together a claim for filing with the relevant agency. An attorney might also communicate with government officials on behalf of the client or draft and file an appeal in cases where benefits have been previously denied.

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