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Supplemental Security Income
Often people who are chronically-ill and disabled have not worked for many years, or have only worked part-time, or even worked at employment where they did not pay Social Security payroll taxes, so they don't have the "quarters paid in" to qualify for SSDI. For people who do not have the required work credits and are disabled, SSI may be available. However, SSI is a program that has tough income and asset requirements. There is an income ceiling that a person can have—that is income from all sources. The income amount is the amount of SSI monthly payment, which varies by state. In Massachusetts the amount is somewhere in the area of $600-$700. (Check with your local Social Security office for the exact figure.) If you have income from any source(s) above this amount you will not be eligible. This includes income from a spouse. And any income you receive from SSI will be deducted from the little other income that you have. However, if you do qualify for SSI, you will get Medicaid, a comprehensive medical insurance plan, immediately. (See for some details). You also will probably be eligible for food stamps and fuel assistance. Also there is an asset limit for SSI. You cannot have assets of more than $2,000. You may have a car and a house that you live in. Call Social Security for more details. If your SSDI amount of monthly income is under the SSI payment limit, you will be able to collect from both programs. SSI will supplement your SSDI up to the SSI limit. You apply for SSI in the same way as SSDI.