The federal Social Security Administration, or SSA, provides two types of benefits to citizens throughout the United States, standard Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The government reserves SSI for a small group of qualified Americans. Though administered at the federal level, the specifics of some aspects of SSI occur at the state level. In Nevada, SSI recipients may prove eligible for a supplemental payment. Other important information on SSA benefits includes program basics and health care benefits.
The SSA provides cash benefits through the SSI program to low-income Americans struggling to meet basic costs like food, clothing and shelter. These benefits exist exclusively for blind, disabled or elderly Americans -- aged 65 or older -- whose resources amount to less than $2000 per month for individuals and $3000 for couples. Resources include bank accounts, stocks, bond and income generated from a job, but not burial money, a home, life insurance or housing or other benefits provided by a nonprofit organization. As of 2011, the maximum monthly SSI payment is $674 for an individual or $1011 for couples. Families of disabled or blind children also receive SSI if they meet income requirements. When applying for SSI, Nevadans may also apply for food stamps.
Social Security Basics
The SSA provides Social Security benefits to retired and disabled Americans who paid taxes into the Social Security program during their working life and the survivors of such people. Only those who paid at least 40 credits worth of taxes into the program qualify for these benefits. A maximum of four credits can be accrued each year, meaning Americans must work and pay into the program for at least ten years to qualify.
Eligible retirement age depends upon an individual’s year of birth; find a full chart of year of birth and corresponding retirement ages at the SSA website. The amount of benefits received through SSA correlates to the amount of taxes paid into the program by the recipient. Social Security recipients may elect to retire early and receive a reduced benefit amount. Those eligible for both Social Security and SSI can receive both simultaneously.
Nevada SSI Supplement
Nevada provides a supplement to SSI recipients depending upon living arrangement. Only the blind or elderly receive such payments, which come in different amounts based whether an individual or couple lives independently, in the house of another or in a care home. In 2011, blind Nevadans receive a maximum state supplement/total combined payment of $109/$783 for individuals and $374.60/$1385.60 for couples when living independently, $213.96/$663.30 for individuals and $531.94/$1205.94 for couples when living in the house of another and $391/$1065 for individuals and $881/$1892 for couples living in care facilities. Supplementary payments for aged Nevadans are $36.40/$710.40, $74.46/$1085.46, $24.27/$473.61, $49.64/$723.64, $391/$1065 and $881/$1892 respectively.
SSI, SSA and Health Care Benefits
Nevada maintains the same eligibility requirements for SSI and Medicaid, the latter a joint state-federal health care program for low-income residents. Nevadans must apply separately for these programs, but generally receive both if eligible for either.
Medicare, a health care program for retired and disabled Americans, maintains very similar qualification requirements as does Social Security. Those aged 65 or older may apply for health care through the Medicaid program while applying for Social Security benefits.