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SSI benefits, Medicaid and SNAP specific to New Jersey residents

Many New Jersey residents know that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program run by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly financial assistance to needy individuals and families. SSI benefits are meant for those above the age of 65 and for disabled people, irrespective of their age. To qualify for SSI benefits, a prospective beneficiary must prove that he or she does not have sufficient income and has limited resources.

Insufficient income and limited resources mean that a beneficiary must not hold assets in excess of $2,000, if single, and $3,000, if married. The house in which the beneficiary resides is not accounted in this valuation. In many cases, a car or the value of certain assets, such as burial plot, is also not counted. To receive SSI, a New Jersey resident must apply for all other cash benefits that the state and federal government offer.

In order to receive SSI benefits, a person must be a resident of the United States. If a person is not a U.S. resident, that person may still be able to receive SSI benefits, if that individual is residing legally in the country. The rules and regulations that govern SSI benefits for non-citizens are, however, slightly different.

New Jersey residents should also know that for many beneficiaries, the state adds a supplemental amount to their federal benefits. That means the monthly payments are a sum of federal and New Jersey SSI benefits. Additionally, qualifying for SSI benefits means that a beneficiary automatically qualifies for medical assistance, or Medicaid, which is administered by the local Medical Assistance Customer Center.

Qualifying for SSI benefits also means that a recipient may be able to obtain help through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. Qualifying for SNAP means getting subsidized food for a beneficiary. Qualification is not monitored by the Social Security Administration.

If every person in a family receives SSI benefits, a person from that family can apply for SNAP at a Social Security Administration office. Otherwise, the application needs to be made at the county welfare agency.

Source: SocialSecurity.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) In New Jersey," accessed on Dec. 12, 2014

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