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Supplemental Security Income

Today, this blog will cover Supplemental Security Income or SSI. This type of income, unlike Social Security Disability Insurance, is not covered by the Social Security taxes. SSI is funded by general tax revenues.

SSI may be available to the aged, blind or disabled, and is intended to help those who may have little to no income. The income can be used to meet the basic needs of life, such as food, clothes and shelter. Any individual who is considering applying for this benefit can utilize a 10 minute Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool that will help to determine eligibility for SSI or another benefit.

Beneficiaries who are already receiving SSI may consider returning to the work force. However, these individuals may fear the loss of all their benefits once they begin to work. The Social Security Administration has created a work incentive checklist. Incentives ensure that those with disabilities maximize their opportunities for independence while retaining much needed SSI or Medicaid benefits.

There is an earned income exclusion for the disabled that work. The first $65 of earned income is not counted by SSI. SSI benefits are reduced by $1 for every $2 earned over $65. For students, the calculation is a bit different. Students under the age of 22 will have up to $1,750 of gross earnings excluded in one month. A maximum of $7,060 of gross income will be excluded in a calendar year when the government calculates countable income. Recipients who feel that their SSI benefits were incorrectly ended due to new employment may need to seek the advice of an experienced social security attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Supplemental Security Income Home page," last visited April 6, 2015

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