If you return to work while you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, the likely consequence is that your SSI benefits will drop or you will lose them altogether. This is because SSI benefits are a program for lower income Americans, regardless of work history. If you start earning too much, your need for SSI support is presumably less, which is why SSI beneficiaries are under a duty to report to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) all work activity. This includes when you start or stop work, the amount you are working, and how much you are earning.
The first important figure to note is how much in SSI benefits you are receiving. For 2012, the standard amount is $698 for one person and $1,048 for a couple. Most states add a state supplement to this standard amount, with the supplement amount varying from state to state. Oklahoma, for example, provides an extra $48 a month to SSI beneficiaries.
The second important figure for you to calculate is how much you earn in a month. Because there is a set of guidelines to follow when determining what is income and what is a deduction, we always recommend speaking to a Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security Disability attorney regarding your particular case. Ordinarily, the SSA deducts $85 from your monthly income and then splits the remaining amount in half. That half amount reduces your SSI benefits dollar for dollar. However, you can deduct certain expenses like any payments made for disability expenses enabling you to go to work.
Finally, you can restart your SSI benefits without having to apply if you find yourself unable to continue working within five years of the end of your benefits. Remember, though, that you can only take advantage of this extra support if you keep the SSA up to date regarding your work and income each month.
Were you an SSI beneficiary who returned to work? Do you have advice to share with others currently receiving SSI benefits?