Supplemental Security Income benefits are federal financial stipends available to aged, blind or disabled persons to help them meet their basic needs. As of 2014, the SSI program provides eligible individuals up to $721 monthly and $1,082 for couples receiving benefits.
The SSI program was created under President Richard Nixon’s enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1972. These amendments were instituted to regulate each state’s distribution of benefits to the aged, blind and elderly, creating nationwide fairness in income amounts and eligibility requirements.
Eligible applicants must be over the age of 65 or disabled or blind with limited income and limited resources. Candidates must reside in of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia or the Northern Mariana Islands. Benefit seekers must also be U.S. citizens or in one of the acceptable categories of alien without an active warrant for deportation.
Applicants can visit the Social Security Administration website to determine if they meet eligibility requirements. Community organizations in various cities offer assistance to individuals who need help applying for benefits. In many cases, individuals can work while receiving SSI. Representatives at the Social Security Administration can help applicants determine how many hours they are allowed to work each week while participating in the SSI program.