How much can I earn before I lose my SSI benefit?
Is there a certain amount of income to receive or be denied SSI?
Help with your disability claim questions.
THE INFORMATION BELOW WAS PROVIDED BY THE SSA at www.ssa.gov
Updated 10/20/2011 09:09 AM | ID# 483
What are the effects of work if I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits?
If you receive SSI, you must report your earnings as soon as you start working and we may use them to compute your new benefit rate beginning the month you start working. To figure out how your work will affect your SSI benefit, we disregard the first $65 of wages you receive the month you begin working, and we could disregard as much as $85 if you do not have any other income. After you earn more than $65 (or $85, if applicable), we will reduce your benefit $1 for every $2 you receive in that month.
This is how we would figure how much SSI you are owed (assuming you have no other income or work expenses), if you received $500 in wages for March 2011:
1.$500.00 gross wages minus $85 equals $415.00.
2.$415.00 divided by 2 equals $207.50. Therefore, $207.50 is the amount of countable earnings we will deduct from your SSI benefit.
3.In 2011, the maximum federal SSI benefit is $674.00 per month. We then subtract $207.50 from $674.00 equals $466.50.
We may be able to pay you more SSI if we can disregard from your income any items or services you need to help you work. We call the costs for these items impairment-related work expenses. Some examples are medicines, screen readers, service animals, counseling or therapy sessions. We can deduct the costs of these expenses from your earnings if:
•You pay for the items or service yourself;
•You will not be reimbursed;
•You submit proof of payment; or
•We approve your expense.
We deduct impairment-related work expenses from your countable earnings before we reduce your benefits $1 for every $2 you received, if:
•You will not be reimbursed; or
•We approve your expense.
If you are blind, we also can deduct the cost of any work expense you have. We call these blind-work expenses and they include transportation to and from work, taxes, visual and sensory aids, and attendant care services.
We deduct blind-work expenses from your countable earnings after we reduce your benefits $1 for every $2 you received.
In 2011, you can receive up to $1,433 in monthly wages before we reduce your federal SSI cash benefit to zero if you only have your own earnings and do not pay for any expenses to work. If you live in a state that pays a supplement in addition to the federal SSI benefit, you can earn even more before cash payments stop.
However, even if SSI case benefits stop, you may continue to receive SSI benefits in the form of Medicaid coverage if your wages are below certain levels, or upon considering your medical and personal attendant costs. Finally, even if your earnings are so high you lose all SSI benefits, you have 12 months from the date you were last eligible for SSI to re-contact us and re-start your SSI benefits without filing a new application.