Elder law attorneys place an emphasis on all legal matters that impact senior citizens, and when you are planning for the future it is important to be aware of all of the resources that may be available to you.
When you think about government programs for senior citizens the first thing that is going to come to mind is Social Security. In order to be able to collect Social Security benefits you must have contributed a sufficient amount into the system during the years that you were working. The amount of your monthly benefit varies depending on when you choose to take it and how much you earned throughout your life. The more you earned, the higher your monthly benefit will be. Your highest 35 earning years are utilized to calculate your benefit.
Many people may think that they are not qualified for any fixed income from the government when they reach retirement age if they did not pay enough into Social Security. The reality is that this is not the case. The Social Security Administration offers a safety net called SSI or Supplemental Security Income. It is available to qualified Americans aged 65 and over as well as the disabled and people who are blind.
To qualify you cannot have assets that exceed $2,000. This is the same resource limit that is used for Medicaid eligibility in most States. But like Medicaid, not all of your assets are considered to be countable according to Social Security Administration regulations. If you are a homeowner, the value of your residence does not count towards this $2,000 figure. Your motor vehicle does not count either, and the value of certain personal belongings such as your wedding and engagement rings are not applied to this limit.
If you are interested in gaining a more detailed understanding of SSI, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.