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What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSP in California?

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Federal programs like Social Security and Supplemental Security Income can greatly help individuals who are disabled and struggling financially, but the monthly payments are often not enough to cover all of the needs of qualifying individuals. This is one reason why California created the State Supplementary Payment Program (SSP) to provide additional support for qualifying individuals. If you are not familiar with SSP, you may be wondering what is the difference between SSI and SSP in California.

What is the difference between SSI and SSP in California?

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Certain individuals may qualify for monthly Supplemental Security Income checks from the federal government. The program is needs-based, so applicants must prove that they qualify. The main consideration for eligibility is income. Only applicants who have little to no income and limited resources are eligible for this program.

Once those conditions have been established, applicants must demonstrate that they are one of the following:

  • 65 or older
  • Disabled
  • Blind

The application process for SSI is complicated and often requires the assistance of an attorney who has experience successfully filing SSI claims. Once approved, SSI checks are based on the applicant’s living situation, income, and other factors. If you have a modest income, the monthly payments will be reduced by roughly one dollar for every two dollars you earn. Supplemental state payments through California’s State Supplementary Payment (SSP) program do not affect your SSI payments.

You will be required to make monthly reports while on SSI. The program requires that you disclose any changes to your income, including financial assistance from relatives. The application process for SSI checks must be done carefully and methodically. Many people opt to allow an experienced attorney to handle the paperwork for them.

Individuals who qualify for SSI may also be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. These can cover the otherwise out-of-pocket costs of hospital care, prescription meds, doctor visits, and other medical care.

What Is State Supplementary Payment?

If you qualify for SSI, you are eligible for State Supplementary Payments. These monthly payments can add up to $240 per month to the SSI checks you receive. Couples can add an additional $606 per month to their monthly SSI payments. When combined, SSI and SSP can bring recipients over the poverty line.

Your San Joaquin SSI benefits lawyer can help you find additional forms of assistance. Many people who qualify for SSI can receive medical benefits under the state’s Medi-Cal program that can pay for hospital visits and more.

How an Attorney Can Help

You are not required to hire an attorney to handle your SSI and SSP application forms, but having legal counsel can greatly strengthen your claim. Experiencing a rejected claim can be a real setback for someone over 65 or someone who is blind or disabled. Your SSI attorney will understand the complicated paperwork that needs to be filled out and filed with the right office.

Your legal counsel can keep you informed about what steps are needed to complete the application process, which could include attending a hearing. Having an attorney present to represent you during a hearing can be a great stress reliever. At some point during the application process, a judge may set a hearing to review your case. If your case is rejected, an attorney can review the filings and appeal the decision.

An experienced SSI lawyer understands the application process and may personally know many of the administrative personnel involved in reviewing the application forms. Those professional relationships allow your attorney to more easily navigate the SSI application process on your behalf.


Q: Are SSI and SSP the Same Thing?

A: Supplemental Security Income and State Supplementary Payment are not the same thing. SSI is a federal program, while SSP is funded and managed by California. If you are eligible and enroll in SSI, you are likely eligible for SSP payments. As the name suggests, SSP monthly payments are meant to supplement your SSI checks. These additional benefits can help you if you are indigent, 65 or older, blind, or disabled. An SSI attorney can help you navigate the complicated application process for both programs.

Q: What Is the SSP Benefit in California?

A: California’s State Supplementary Payment program provides monthly checks to qualifying recipients. These payments can supplement SSI payments. The exact amount of your monthly payment depends on factors like income and living situation. The upper end of monthly benefits for individuals is around $240 a month. This is in addition to your SSI payments, which may be much higher. SSP benefits do not affect your eligibility to receive SSI payments.

Q: Will You Receive Medi-Cal Under the SSI and SSP programs?

A: With the help of an attorney who is familiar with the application process, you are likely eligible for Medi-Cal benefits if you already qualify for SSI and SSP programs. SSI is a needs-based program, so qualifying for SSI demonstrates that you are financially in need of government assistance. While SSI and SSP payments are for general living expenses, you can use Medi-Cal benefits to pay for hospital visits, prescription medication, and other healthcare-related expenses.

Q: What Is the Maximum Payment for SSP?

A: SSP payments are supplemental, so they are not intended to replace SSI payments. Depending on your living conditions, income, and other factors, your SSI payments may reach upwards of $240 per month for an individual. The max payment for either program is usually reserved for individuals who have the greatest financial need.

Schedule Your State Supplementary Payment Consultation Today

Gade & Parekh, LLP, has helped many clients successfully apply for SSI and SSP payments. You do not have to have an attorney to apply for government benefits, but having an experienced lawyer can greatly strengthen your claim. From gathering medical records and documents to filing your claim, our lawyers are here to guide you through the entire process. If needed, we can also handle your appeal.

We have more than 30 years of experience helping clients who live in Placer County, Yolo County, Sacramento County, and San Joaquin County. To schedule your State Supplementary Payment consultation, contact our office today.

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