Kissimmee residents who are seeking to be approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program need to understand the cutoff for income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has rules in place when it comes to SSI and the amount of income and resources a claimant can have while still receiving benefits. Simply put, income is money that is received in wages, through benefits from Social Security, and pensions.
Other factors that are considered to be income include food and shelter. All income is not calculated when the determination is made. The following are not counted: the first $20 of income each month; the first $65 that is earned each month and half of the amount that surpasses $65; food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); shelter received from non-profits; and most assistance in receiving home energy. Those who are married will have a portion of the spouse’s income added to the calculation of income and resources.
For people younger than the age of 18, the income and resources of the parents will be calculated. Sponsored non-citizens of the United States will have the sponsor’s income and resources calculated. Students who are receiving wages and have scholarships may not have the amount they receive counted. Disabled people who work will not have wages that are used to pay for items that are meant to assist them in work counted against them. A wheelchair is an example. For a person who is blind and working, the SSA will not count the wages they use for work costs. An example would be transportation back and forth to work. It is possible that if income that is used or saved for training purposes or to purchase items that are needed for one’s job, it might not count.
SSI is a program that is available to people who have not paid into the program through FICA taken from paychecks. It is especially useful for those who have not worked long enough to qualify for other programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Before applying for SSI benefits, it is imperative to understand the requirements and rules. Speaking to a legal professional about SSD benefits can provide that information and assistance.
Source: SSA.gov, “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) page 5-6,” accessed on Aug. 18, 2015