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How Are Supplemental Security Income Benefits Calculated?
Posted in: Supplemental Security Income on July 28th, 2011

Supplemental Security Benefits

In general, there is a lot more attention paid to Social Security Disability Insurance than Supplemental Security Income, and this is for a singular reason: generally speaking, there are more people who are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance as compared to Supplemental Security Income, given that Supplemental Security Income is only for those 65 or older, or who have never been able to work due to severe illness or permanent injury.

Getting Your Money

The process for applying to either one of these programs is quite long and drawn out – in addition to this, there is a six period lag time between getting approved for benefits and actually receiving them.  To put this in perspective, if you end up getting approved for benefits in January, you won’t actually receive a check until August.  If this seems like more than six months, you’d be correct – Supplemental Security Income pays at the end of each month, so getting paid in August would be your benefits for July.

But even after all of this: what is the average payment for an individual getting Supplemental Security Income?  Well, in 2009 the basic federal benefit rate was 674.00 per month, and then was reduced by increments depending on how much individual income the recipient had outside of Supplemental Security Income.  Clearly, this is not a huge number, and those who are dependent on Supplemental Security Income are expected to have additional income somewhere else.  But the base rate is 674.00 in benefits per month, so budget carefully!

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