For millions of Americans in need, news that their supplemental security income benefits will increase in 2013 is welcomed news. While the increase isn’t substantial, for many SSI benefit recipients, even a modest increase will be a great help with covering basic monthly living expenses.
During 2012, SSI beneficiaries received a maximum monthly benefit amount of $698. In an attempt to adjust benefit amounts to align with cost of living increases, SSI recipients will now receive $710 per month. For most Americans and Pennsylvania residents, an extra twelve dollars per month doesn’t seem like much. For individuals who qualify for SSI benefits, however, those few extra dollars can mean the difference between having enough food for the month and going hungry.
SSI benefits are meant to help individuals who are blind or disabled or over the age of 65. In addition to meeting these qualifying requirements, SSI beneficiaries must be have limited income and financial resources and be a U.S. citizen.
Individuals who rely upon SSI benefits typically use the monies to provide for basic necessities such as food, housing and clothing. For some SSI beneficiaries, the monies they receive from SSI are their only source of monthly income. As a result, many SSI beneficiaries live in extreme poverty.
Federal government programs such as SSI and Social Security Disability provide much-needed assistance to those in our society who suffer mental and physical disabilities as well as those individuals who are aged and have little resources.
Source: Santa Ynez Valley News, “A raise for people who get Social Security,” Essie Landry, Dec. 20, 2012