There are a great many people who are reaching their sixties right around now due to the maturing of the baby boomer generation. The way that a majority of them will be financing their retirement years is going to be by using Social Security as the centerpiece of their income. To qualify for your full Social Security benefit you must reach full retirement age, which is 66 for people who were born between 1943 and 1954.
In addition to this age requirement, you must also have paid a sufficient amount into the program through your payroll taxes. But what if you have not done so, are you totally left out in the cold with absolutely no income during your elder years? The answer is that there is a bare bones safety net program called Supplemental Security Income or SSI that can provide a minimal source of income if you can qualify.
At the present time, the maximum amount that an individual can receive per month in Supplemental Security Income from the federal government is $674. For a couple, the maximum monthly benefit is $1,010. There are resource limits however; you cannot qualify for SSI if you have total assets that exceed $2,000 in value.
But, there is personal property that does not count toward this figure, such as your home, your car, your tools and other equipment used for maintaining your well being, and your wedding and engagement rings.
One of the things about qualifying for Supplemental Security Income that is important to a lot of seniors is that you automatically become eligible for Medicaid. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid will pay for the costs associated with a stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and these expenses are considerable to say the least. The average charge for a year in an assisted living facility in 2010 was just under $40,000, and a year in a nursing home averaged about $83,500.
If you would like to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses all of the eventualities of aging, simply get in touch with an experienced elder law attorney to arrange for a free consultation.