Social Security Administration Raising Awareness of SSI in Maryland
Thursday, July 20, 2023
The Social Security Administration wants to make sure Marylanders know about the Supplemental Security Income program.
Supplemental Security Income is a federal assistance program providing financial support to individuals with limited income and resources who are elderly, blind, or disabled, including children.
Abigail Zapote, senior advisor for the Social Security Administration, said the pandemic impacted applications for the program.
"Since the pandemic, we've noted at the agency that there has been a great decline in SSI applications in underserved communities," Zapote observed.
The Social Security Administration reported there are more than 117,000 Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries in Maryland with more than 17,000 children receiving benefits. Researchers at Boston College published a report in March which found a 30% decline in child applications after the onset of the pandemic.
What is commonly known as Social Security includes old-age, survivors, and disability insurance. In Maryland, more than 31,000 people are receiving both Supplemental Security Income and an additional social security benefit. While the standard social security benefit is available to most retirees, some recipients may only qualify for partial benefits and may still fall below the federal poverty line.
Zapote noted some people on social security also qualify for Supplemental Security Income.
"For folks that might not be receiving their full retirement benefits, because they might have been a contractor, might be a caregiver, and might not have completed their 40 full credits to receive full retirement benefits," Zapote outlined. "They definitely might be eligible for SSI, if the amount that they're receiving is still leaving them under the federal poverty line."
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