Married Vs Single SSI Benefits
- For individuals, the basic amount of SSI is $674 per month as of 2010. However, if both couples receive SSI, the total amount received is not two times $674. Couples receive up to $1,011 in SSI, which comes out to $505.50 per individual.
- If an individual is homeless or residing with someone who is paying all of the rent, utilities and other basic needs, the total amount of SSI is reduced by one-third. For individuals, the monthly amount is $449 in this scenario. This rule also applies to couples, who receive a total of $674, or $337 per individual, per month.
- For SSI purposes, resources include cash on hand, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, IRAs, life insurance policies with a cash value, revocable trusts, vehicles, land, houses and other property with significant cash value. One vehicle, one house and the land it resides on are excluded if the vehicle is the primary mode of transportation and the house is the primary residency. Resource limits vary between individuals and couples. Individuals have a resource limit of $2,000, while couples have a resource limit of $3,000.
- Couples who share a room in an institution such as a nursing home are treated as two separate entities for the purposes of determining eligibility and payment amount.
- The concept of "holding out" refers to two individuals who represent themselves as a married couple in the community but do not get married for the purpose of being considered separate for SSI. If this occurs, the individuals must report this to SSI so that their SSI checks are figured using the same rules that apply for a married couple. It is discovered that they are "holding out" and collect SSI payments in the amounts that individuals receive, they may be responsible for paying back a portion of the benefits back to the date that it is believed that the couple has been holding out. Repeated violations could lead to being barred from the SSI program.