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Are SSI and Social Security Disability Payments Exempt from Bankruptcy Claims?

If you receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and file for bankruptcy, your checks are usually safe.

If your benefits come from SSI, which is a welfare program for the needy, they are always exempt from creditor claims.

However, SSDI payments technically qualify as "work" income, so they may be subject to bankruptcy claims.

SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2009

Here is a link to the SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2009. The report provides a wealth of statistical information on SSI.

Highlights :

Size and Scope of the Supplemental Security Income Program

* About 7.7 million people received federally administered payments in December 2009.
* The average monthly payment in December 2009 was $499.
* Total payments for the year were more than $46 billion, including almost $4 billion in federally administered state supplementation.

Profile of Recipients


You may be able to get Social Security

If you have worked and paid into Social Security long enough, you also may be eligible for Social Security benefits while you are receiving SSI. Retirement benefits can be paid to people age 62 or older and their families. Disability benefits go to people with disabilities and their families. Survivors benefits are paid to the families of workers who have died. If you think you may qualify for Social Security benefits, call the SSA to make an appointment to talk with a Social Security representative.


You may be able to get other help

If you get SSI, you also may be able to get help from your state or county. For example, you may be able to get Medicaid, food stamps or other social services. Call your local social services department or public welfare office for information about the services available in your community.

Food stamps

If everyone in your home signs up for SSI or gets SSI, Social Security will help you fill out the food stamp application.


How to apply for SSI

If you are applying for SSI, you can complete a large part of your ­application by visiting their website at You also can call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to ask for an appointment with a Social Security representative.

Parents or guardians usually can apply for blind or disabled children under age 18. In some cases, other third parties can apply for children.


Rules for getting SSI

Your income and resources

Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own).


Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. You can call us to find out the income limits in your state.


SSI - Supplemental Security Income

This booklet explains what Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is, who can get it and how to apply. It provides basic information and is not intended to answer all questions. For specific information about your situation, you should talk with a Social Security representative.

The SSI program makes payments to people with low income who are age 65 or older or are blind or have a disability.



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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration