State and Federal Administration of SSI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes Supplementary Security Income (SSI) available to elderly people or disabled people in need of extra financial support. The amount that a person is able to receive in SSI payments depends on their location (cost-of-living), who they live with (if they have dependants), and income.

For clarification purposes, the SSA has a specific definition of “income” so that they are able to consistently calculate how much a candidate is able to receive. According to their website, the SSA defines income as “anything a person receives that can be used for food or shelter. Income includes cash, checks, and “gift” items received, such as food and shelter.” Income is split into two categories, earned and unearned. Earned income is any money previously received from employment, and unearned income is considered as benefits received from workers compensation funds, disability, etc.

Over 30 states in the United States manage SSI benefits through state administration rather than federal administration. Applications should be directed to state agencies for people applying for benefits in states that manage their own supplements. State administered SSI benefits can give beneficiaries added advantages like Medicaid and additional assistance services like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

Texas is among the states that handle SSI payments through the state government. Since large cities like San Antonio are multi-cultural hubs, many people without citizenship frequently ask if citizenship is a requirement in order to receive SSI. Typically people must be a United States citizen, however there are some exceptions. Members of federally recognized Indian tribes, noncitizens admitted as immigrants, Cubans and Haitians admitted under the Refugee Education Assistance Act, victims of human trafficking, and Afghan and Iraqi entrants regarded as lawful permanent refugees are eligible to receive SSI benefits.

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Social Security Disability Benefits for Personal Injury Victims

There are many situations in which the question of how a personal injury settlement or award will affect social security disability benefits will arise. In general, however, a person receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments should not worry about any adverse effects on their monthly benefits in the event of personal injury compensation. There is no overlapping of jurisdictions for the two issues. This does not mean that a claim for SSDI benefits will be any easier. Filing a claim for SSDI benefits requires extensive knowledge in the ins and outs of the process to avoid getting denied.

Conversely, a person who became disabled because of the negligence of a third party and received a personal injury settlement with a medical component may still claim SSDI benefits. An ongoing personal injury claim does not preclude filing a claim for SSDI at the same time. According to an article in the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Green Bay, the negligent actions of a defendant in a personal injury case renders him or her liable for any injuries that may accrue to another person. This liability is not diminished by the financial capacity of the injured party.

It must be remembered that SSDI is funded out of payroll taxes. As an employee, you have been paying periodically into the SSDI fund, and you have the right to receive SSDI benefits if you in fact become disabled. SSDI is based on certain criteria that are not causative in nature; you can qualify if you have the required work credits and are unable to work for at least 12 months because of a medical condition that has left you totally disabled. The why will not matter, and income from sources other than your regular employment is not a deciding factor. As long as you remain unable to work, you will receive SSDI payments. Any monies that you may have received from a personal injury lawsuit remain separate from your SSDI eligibility.

However, you may be required to set up a Medicare Set-Aside or MSA, a trust fund designed to cover your future medical needs related to the medical basis of your personal injury claim. The rationale and mechanics of an MSA is somewhat complex, and may best be explained by an MSA lawyer who will set it up for you if the need arises.

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