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SSI there to help when disability makes working impossible

When children or adults are disabled in Georgia, it is understandably difficult for them to provide for themselves or find employment. This difficulty is why the U.S. government, through the Social Security Administration, created the Supplemental Security Income or SSI program, which pays benefits to individuals who have suffered disabilities and are unable to earn an income.

SSI is a benefit program for those with limited income and who are blind or disabled. In addition, children who are disabled or blind may also qualify for SSI benefits. To determine if a person qualifies to receive such payments, the Social Security Administration looks at a complicated list of factors that includes the assets of the disabled person and his or her income. Allowed assets are very limited and cannot exceed $2,000 in value for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

This important federal assistance program was created in 1974 and was intended to streamline a confusing group of benefit programs created over the years. SSI is financed by the US Treasury through the general fund, as opposed to financing through payroll deductions from employment. Currently, a qualifying individual can expect to receive $698 per month after being approved to receive the SSI benefits.

For Augusta residents who require assistance from the government to make ends meet, the SSI program is invaluable. Intended to make life easier for those with disabling illnesses or injuries, the payments, though small by some standards, can be enough to help people throughout Georgia make their rent or buy much needed food. A clear understanding of the program can help those who may qualify determine if they should hope to receive benefit payments in the future.

Source: AARP, "What's the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?" Stan Hinden, June 13, 2012

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Stephen H. Hagler

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