SSI Benefits and Returning to Work

How you return to work and when you stop receiving disability benefits depend on whether you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits. In today’s post we discuss working while receiving SSI benefits. Tomorrow, we cover working while receiving SSDI benefits.

Because SSI benefits do not involve work history, but depend on income level, you are more likely to have a reduction in SSI benefits than you are with your SSDI benefits. The important calculation is whether your monthly income exceeds the level required for SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) does permit SSI beneficiaries to exclude certain expenses from their monthly income calculations. You are allowed to deduct any disability-related expenses from the income you earn. So, for example, costs for a wheelchair, public transportation or special work equipment will not count against you. Information on other expenses that beneficiaries can remove from their monthly income calculation is available from a Tulsa SSI lawyer.

SSI beneficiaries may also be able to transition back into the work force while continuing to receive benefits until they fully recover under a qualified vocational rehabilitation program (also known as Section 301 payments). These programs are often win-win for the SSA and for beneficiaries. They provide job training and placement assistance for beneficiaries, while also being effective at helping people move off of SSI benefits and into better paying jobs.

Finally, the SSA provides the added benefit that, if you find yourself unable to work within five years of ending SSI benefits, you can have them reinstated without having to go through the whole process again.

Are you receiving SSI benefits? How have you worked with the Social Security Administration to return to work?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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