How Your Income Affects SSI Benefits

October 7, 2015
Dayes Law Firm

For many older Americans living with a disability and who have a limited income, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an important resource. Unlike Social Security disability benefits, approval for this type of benefit is determined based on income rather than on work history.

To be eligible, applicants must have limited income and resources and be blind, disabled or over the age of 65. Each applicant should not have an income of more than $733 per month.

If you believe that you meet the requirements for SSI benefits, but have been denied the benefits you need, contact a Social Security Disability benefits lawyer in Phoenix for a free consultation. We will appeal your claim and help you get the benefits you need.

When the SSA calculates your income level to determine if you are eligible for benefits, it breaks down your incoming money in four different ways:

  • Earned Income – This includes money that you earn from working, such as wages, earnings from self-employment and certain royalties.
  • Unearned Income – This includes any income that is not earned, such as money from friends or relatives or any kind of income from the government, like disability benefits, pension or unemployment benefits.
  • In-kind Income – This includes food or shelter that is provided to you for free.
  • Deemed Income – This is income that your spouse or parent brings in that is portioned to you when calculating benefits.

Certain parts of your income are not counted when calculating your SSI benefits. These can include:

  • The first $20 of monthly income (unearned income)
  • The first $65 of monthly earnings (earned income)
  • Food stamps
  • Assistance from the state or local government that is based on need
  • Income tax refunds

All of these items, and more, are subtracted from your gross monthly income to determine your countable income, on which your SSI benefits payment will be based.

Call 1-800-503-2000 to get started today.