Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you have not earned enough credits, have not worked in a long time or have never worked, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, benefits. SSI is a need-based program that provides monthly benefits to disabled individuals. You may also be entitled to SSI if you are elderly or blind. It is tough to qualify for SSI, however, since it has very strict asset and income limits.

Asset And Income Requirements For SSI

The income limit for the SSI program is based upon the Federal Benefit Rate, or FBR. The FBR is both the SSI income limit as well as the maximum federal monthly SSI benefit you can receive. In 2015, the FBR is $733 per month for an individual and $1,100 for couples. In order to be eligible for SSI, your countable monthly income cannot exceed the FBR. It is important to be aware that "income" for SSI does not include just income you receive from employment, but can include many other things, including living expenses paid by someone else.

In addition to the strict income requirements, in order to qualify for SSI you cannot have assets valued at more than $2,000 for an individual ($3,000 for a couple). Assets include cash on hand, cash in bank accounts, stocks and bonds, household goods and personal effects, cars and real property. There is an exemption for one motor vehicle and a primary residence.

There are many different types of income and assets the SSA takes into consideration and which can affect your eligibility for SSI and the amount of any monthly benefit. It is important that you understand how the SSA will view your assets and income in order to maximize your monthly benefit. Our experienced Social Security attorneys are available to review your claim to make sure you are receiving all that you are entitled to in your time of need.

Determining Your SSI Benefit Amount

The monthly payment amount for SSI is based upon the FBR. In 2015 the maximum individual benefit is $733 ($1,100 for couples). Massachusetts and Vermont have state programs that supplement this amount and provide for increased benefits.

In some cases, where an individual's SSDI benefit falls below the FBR, they may also be entitled to SSI to supplement their SSDI benefits.

Contact Our Massachusetts And Vermont Social Security Disability Attorneys

For consultation with a lawyer about your eligibility for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, contact Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP. We have offices in North Adams, Pittsfield and Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as in Bennington, Vermont, to serve you. You can reach us in Massachusetts at 413-358-4652, and in Vermont at 802-681-4729 or via email

All cases are handled on a contingent fee basis — you will not have to pay any attorneys' fees unless we win compensation in your case.