If you are an elder person, or have a disability that impedes you from working, you always have options to avoid the risk of falling into a personal financial crisis, and also to avoid suffering from food insecurity. Many of these programs are federal, which means they are available in all 50 states and in Washington DC. The state of New Jersey is no exception: you could claim right now the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you are part of the populations mentioned above.
Before we move forward, it’s important to remark that SSI and SSDI are not the same. While the SSI program is a need-based program designed to support low-income individuals who are disabled, blind, or elderly, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an insurance-based program available to those who have a qualifying work history and have become disabled before retirement age.
Claiming SSI benefits in New Jersey: Eligibility and application process
In order to be eligible for the SSI benefits in the state of New Jersey, you must comply to the federal criteria. Firstly, applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien. This ensures that the program is targeted at individuals who are legally entitled to receive assistance within the country. Afterwards, there are two groups that actually apply: Either they must have a disability that aligns with the standards set by Social Security. Or either the applicants who are 65 years old or older can also qualify, acknowledging the financial challenges that can arise with age.
In the year 2023, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has outlined specific guidelines for benefits, resources, and income limitations:
For an individual residing independently, the highest allowable monthly income is set at $1,913. For a married couple cohabitating, the utmost monthly income permitted is $2,827.
Regarding the resources, the maximum permissible resource cap stands at $2,000. For a married couple, the highest acceptable resource cap is $3,000. Assets considered countable resources include funds in bank accounts, investments, and life insurance policies. Nevertheless, there are exemptions governing what is counted as a resource.
The maximum SSI amounts you could claim in New Jersey in 2023
If you live alone, the maximum SSI benefit amount you can receive is $945.25 per month in 2023, as long as the numbers are not updated by the SSA. If you are married and living with your spouse, the maximum SSI benefit amount for an eligible couple is $1,396.35.
Some states, including New Jersey, offer supplemental payments to SSI recipients, which may increase the total SSI benefit amount, but depends on any particular case how many much the applicant receive. For an essential person, the maximum amount is $458.