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What changes to SSI benefits should I be aware of for 2018?

New Jersey residents who are seeking Supplemental Security Income or are already receiving SSI benefits should know that the Social Security Administration will generally alter the amount that the recipient receives on an annual basis. Since 2018 has just begun, it is important to know the amounts that people in various situations will receive once they are approved for SSI benefits. It is also imperative that people know how their benefits might change if they have been approved and are already receiving benefits.

SSI is for those who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Those who seek or are getting SSI must have little to no income and limited resources. The resources for a single person must be less than $2,000. For a married couple, it must be less than $3,000. A home in which the person lives and, generally, the value of a vehicle, will not be counted. Often, New Jersey will add money to the payment the person gets from the SSA. People receiving SSI will also be eligible for Medicaid. It is also possible that people getting SSI can receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Regarding the amounts for 2018, the maximum amount per month will be the following: a person who lives alone or with others in their own household will receive $781.25; a person who resides with a spouse who is not eligible to receive SSI will get $903; a person who lives with someone else in their household and gets support and maintenance will receive $544.31; a person who lives in a licensed residential health care facility will receive $960.05; a person who lives in a public general hospital or a long-term facility that has been approved by Medicaid will get $40; a couple that lives alone or with others in their own household will receive $1,150.36; a couple who lives in another person's household and receives support and maintenance will get $843.09; and a couple living in a licensed residential health facility will receive $1,863.36.

If the person has other sources of income, the amounts might be lower. Receiving SSI can be a relief to those who meet the qualifications, but it is also wise to remember that there will likely be changes at the dawn of a new year. One of those changes is the amount the recipient gets and, sometimes, the circumstances under which benefits are provided. It is a smart decision to have help from an attorney who understands all aspects of Supplemental Security Income.

Source: ssa.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in New Jersey," accessed on Jan. 7, 2018

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