The federal Social Security Administration administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program throughout the United States. This program provides benefits cash to certain American citizens. All but five states provide supplemental benefits to SSI recipients through special programs operated at either the state or federal level. In Ohio, the state directly controls these supplemental payments, rather than allowing the federal government to do so. Ohio Legal Rights Service provides assistance for those seeking SSI benefits.
The Supplemental Security Income program exists to provide cash benefits to low-income individuals struggling to purchase necessary items such as food, clothing and shelter. The amount of benefits changes in tandem with the Consumer Price Index. In 2011, the maximum amount of benefits available before a state-administered supplement is $674 per month for individuals and $1011 per month for couples. Some states automatically provide SSI recipients with health care through the Medicaid program. Ohio does not do this. SSI recipients must apply separately for Medicaid. SSI recipients may qualify for extra assistance through the Ohio EBT program, which provides funds for the purchase of food.
Who Gets SSI
SSI provides benefits to three types of Americans: the blind, disabled and those aged 65 years or older. Recipients must meet low-income eligibility requirements, which vary on a case-by-case basis but also considers income, employment, severity of disability and living situation. When assessing an individual for SSI eligibility, the government does not count housing provided by a nonprofit organization, food stamps and most home-energy assistance programs as forms of income. These factors do not have a negative impact an individual’s SSI eligibility.
Ohio SSI Supplement
Ohio provides six types of SSI supplements to state residents based on a recipient’s living situation. Those living in adult family or foster homes, adult community homes or adult residential facilities (three separate categories) receive a supplement of $506 for individuals and $1159 for couples. Those living in adult community health housing receive a supplement of $306 for individuals and $759 couples. Those living in an adult group home or a residential care facility (two separate categories) receive a supplement of $606 for individual and $1359 for couples. All amounts based on January 2011 rates.
More On SSI
Supplemental Security Income program revenue comes from general taxes. Thus, unlike Social Security benefits, which come from Social Security taxes, the SSI program excludes no American on the basis of former employment. SSI and Social Security benefits are not mutually exclusive. Retired Americans eligible for both programs can legally receive benefits from each simultaneously.
The families of children suffering from disability or blindness can receive SSI benefits for the child. Once the child becomes an adult, the Social Security Administration assesses the degree of that child’s disability and blindness and determines whether to continue providing benefits and if so at what rate.