Every year, more than 500,000 people successfully obtain disability benefits through Supplemental Security Income (also known as SSI). However, many more people apply and fail, often due to making more money (or owning more property) than the SSI program allows. Here are five things you need to know about the SSI income limit if you are applying for disability benefits:
- If you exceed a certain amount of income, you will be disqualified
- In 2023, the SSI unearned income limit for an individual is $934 per month, while eligible couples can make $1,391 per month. Meanwhile, the income limit for earned income is up to $1,913 a month (or $2,827 for a couple). This limit can be somewhat deceptive, however, for a number of reasons.
- Not all types of income count towards the income limit
- When determining whether you meet the SSI income limit, you need to decide whether a type of income counts towards those limits, as there are many exceptions. For example, income from many types of social programs, such as food, medical and housing assistance, are not counted, nor is income from scholarships, grants, or fellowships. Other types of income only count partly, such as money from child support payments, which can make income calculations complicated.
- You can own a certain amount in personal assets
- In addition to limits on how much you can make, there are also limits on how much you can own. This means you can own no more than $2,000 as an individual, or $3,000 as a couple. However, just as with income requirements, not all types of assets are counted towards that limit, which can make your potential situation even more complicated.
- If the amount of money you make increases, you may lose your benefits
- Even if you initially qualify for SSI benefits, you can potentially lose those benefits if your income or personal assets rise above the SSI income limit. This may occur as a result of a sudden windfall, or it may happen if your disability gets better and you start earning more money. Ultimately, you should be aware of how much money you make, and whether you still qualify for SSI.
- If you are disqualified, you may still have other options
- Even if you do become disqualified due to exceeding the SSI income limit, that does not mean you are out of luck. Instead, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling SSI disability claims. They can help you explore your potential legal options, and help you get the benefits you deserve.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.