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Eligible Utahns Could Qualify for Supplemental Security Income Payments

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023   

Many people in Utah and across the country are eligible for financial aid on top of receiving Social Security payments, but are not aware of it.

The Supplemental Security Income program provides monthly payments to people with disabilities or older adults falling under specific financial limits.

Abigail Zapote, senior adviser for the Social Security Administration, said SSI "provides basic financial support," which can go toward things like rent, food, medications or clothing. According to Utah's Department of Workforce Services, in 2023 the maximum amount of SSI you can receive is $914 per month. If you are a couple and both recipients of SSI, the max amount is $1,371 per month.

"SSI payments can also be made to people age 65 and older who meet financial qualifications," Zapote explained. "People can qualify for both Social Security retirement benefits and SSI payments as well."

Because SSI is what the state's Department of Workforce Services calls a needs-based program, any income you have could affect the amount you receive. Different kinds of income will impact your SSI payment differently.

Zapote pointed out if you are receiving SNAP benefits or Medicaid, it means you're also likely eligible for SSI. For those under the age of 65, she added you have to have a disability to qualify.

Zapote noted the Social Security Administration recently launched a new online tool called the SSI Protective Filing Tool, which consists of about 10 questions to help request an appointment and start receiving funds as quickly as possible.

"Even if it takes an individual like a month to gather all the documents and to complete the application, we will go back and use the date where they provided their information through the protective filing tool as the earliest date to receive payment," Zapote emphasized.

Zapote stressed since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a "great decline" in SSI applications in underserved communities who were living at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. She added the Social Security Administration uses data to hone in on those ZIP codes and wants to reach as many people as possible.


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