News to Use for Agents in the Senior Market
A Publication of Senior Marketing Specialists
Week of April 10, 2017
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. Social Security pays monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI. Understanding SSI: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm
States pay the Medicare premiums for people who receive SSI benefits if they are also eligible for Medicaid. If you get SSI and have Medicare, you will also be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage without filing a separate application. See the web site at: www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/
Monthly Statistical Snapshot, February 2017
National Monthly Benefit Averages:
- Social Security benefits $1249.55
- Supplemental Security Income $540.18
Why is this important? For an agent in the senior market there are many networking opportunities within your community with governmental organizations, attorneys and others who work with Medicare dual eligible individuals. If you work in this market a basic understanding of SSI will prove helpful.
To Be Eligible For Social Security Benefits As A Worker You Must Be:
- Age 62 or older, or disabled or blind; and
- “Insured” by having enough work credits.
Social Security measures work in “work credits.” You can earn up to four work credits per year based on your annual earnings. The amount of earnings required for a work credit increases each year as general wage levels rise.
To be eligible for most types of benefits (such as benefits based on blindness or retirement), you must have earned an average of one work credit for each calendar year between age 21 and the year in which you reach age 62 or become disabled or blind, up to a maximum of 40 credits. A minimum of six work credits is required, regardless of age.
To qualify for Social Security benefits based on a disability other than blindness, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security. The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on your age when you became disabled. You generally need 20 work credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
Want to learn more about Social Security? Watch this Video: Social Security 101: What’s in it for me? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hkLaBiavqQ
Why is this important? Social Security and Medicare are separate programs but Social Security works closely with individuals to educate them about Medicare, sign them up into the program, process their applications and collect premiums.
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