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How is SSI and other benefits available to California recipients?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2022 | Supplemental Security Income

For readers of this blog, they are likely familiar with Supplemental Security Income. Essentially, the federal SSI program provides limited-income citizens monthly payments. Limited income means that one has less than $2,000 in assets ($3,000, if married and living together) and has very little, if any, income. Though, one’s home and car, generally, do not count toward this asset threshold, along with other assets, like burial plots. And, California provides additional benefits.

Additional funds

Depending on one’s situation, our state may add additional money to these federal payments. This means that at the beginning of each month, the recipient receives one payment that includes the SSI payment, along with the California supplemental payment.

Medical assistance

For everyone that receives SSI payments, they, generally, qualify for medical assistance automatically called Medi-Cal. A Medi-Cal application is not usually required when one receives SSI payments as it should occur automatically.

Food assistance

Almost everyone has heard of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but in California, SNAP is known CalFresh. In this program, SSI recipients receive additional money for food. Though, it is not automatic. Recipients will need to separately apply at the Social Security office, but they should qualify as long as they live here, already get (or are in the application process for) SSI, live alone (or in a household where everyone else has SSI) and they have not already applied for the program in the past 60 days.

Other services

SSI recipients usually qualify for other social services, which are provided by their county health or human services office. Some may qualify for assistance animal allowances, or domestic and personal care services, including protective services. One will need to contact those offices to see what may be available locally.

For those in Whittier, Orange, Ontario and North Hollywood, California, that think they may qualify for SSI, all of this information may feel overwhelming. That is okay. Remember, there is always help.