Every year, more than 600,000 people across New York receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. For these people, and millions more around the country, Supplemental Security Income represents an important benefit that helps them to cover their expenses and keep a roof over their heads. However, SSI is subject to an income limit, and it is not as easy as it sounds to determine whether someone has reached that limit.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI is one of two federal programs run through the Social Security Administration (SSA) intended to help people with disabilities that are unable to work. Specifically, SSI is intended for people who do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) due to not being able to fulfill the work credit requirements needed for SSDI. People who obtain SSI benefits receive regular payments that are regularly adjusted by the SSA to keep up with changes in the cost of living.
What Do You Need to Qualify for SSI?
Everyone looking to obtain SSI benefits must meet two primary requirements. First, they must have a physical or psychological disability that makes them unable to work, as determined by a trained medical examiner. Second, they must fall under the maximum income limit, and have less than a certain amount in personal assets. If an applicant fails to meet either of these requirements, they will not be granted SSI benefits.
What is the SSI Income Limit?
Just like the amount of money that is paid by SSI, the maximum income you can make and still qualify for SSI raises every year. In 2022, the income limit will be $841 for an eligible individual, or $1,261 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. However, what makes things complicated is that not all forms of income are counted towards this income limit.
For example, the following types of income are not counted towards the federal SSI income limit:
- The first $20 in unearned income someone makes every month.
- The first $65 in earned income someone makes every month, plus one-half the remainder.
- Income under the student earned income exclusion.
- Income set aside to support a disabled or blind person.
- Income from state or local assistance programs.
- Rent subsidies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Impairment-related work expenses.
How Should I Know if I Qualify for SSI Benefits?
If you are uncertain if you qualify for SSI benefits due to the income limit, you should contact a lawyer with experience handling Social Security disability claims. They can help you apply for benefits, and argue on your behalf if your application is contested or denied.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.