What Types of Income Might Impact My Claim?
Additional income has a different effect on benefit eligibility, payment amounts, and other considerations depending on the type of disability benefits for which you are claiming. While a financial evaluation is required during the disability claims process, only certain types of income are considered, and even then, only in limited instances.
Income Supplementary to Social Security (SSI)
SSI is a need-based program, which means that your financial situation has a significant impact on both your eligibility and how much you receive for monthly benefit payments.
If you are an adult receiving SSI, the SSA takes your own income and other financial resources into account. Including, but are not limited to, the following listed below:
pension money or payouts, interest or other investment income, assistance from friends or family, and any other source of income.
Social Security and Assets Qualification
Additionally, assets are evaluated, as some can be converted to cash, which you can then use to support yourself. Among the assets are the following:
Long-term investments in real estate, houses, automobiles, and other vehicles, as well as other property.
While the SSA considers all of these factors, they also exclude a percentage of income and assets, recognizing that you cannot liquidate everything to survive. In other words, they understand you cannot give up your sole vehicle, since you rely on it to go around, including to and from medical care providers.
For adult SSI applicants, the SSA must also consider additional factors affecting financial conditions, such as:
If, for example, you live with friends or relatives but do not pay rent. In this case, they will evaluate your living arrangement as a financial resource, which may affect your eligibility for SSI or the amount of your monthly SSI payment.
If you are married and your spouse also receives SSI benefits, you may be eligible for both. In this instance, you and your spouse would be entitled to a limited amount of combined SSI benefits each month. This amount may vary from year to year due to the SSA’s annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).
When a kid under the age of 18 applies for SSI, the SSA evaluates the child’s and parents’ income and financial resources. These may include the revenue earned by parents through job as well as other sources of income, such as:
Child support, alimony, retirement benefits, or investment income are all examples of taxable income.
Additionally, the child’s living circumstances is evaluated, including the number of occupants in the family and whether the parents are responsible for several children on a fixed budget.
Disability Insurance under Social Security (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are offered to eligible workers and, in some cases, their dependents. Workers become eligible for Social Security benefits by paying Social Security taxes on their employment income over time. While job income can affect your eligibility, other sources of income will not disqualify you for disability or reduce your monthly SSDI payment amount. In other words, if you do not exceed the SSA’s definition of “substantial gainful activity,” or “SGA,” you may be able to work part-time and yet qualify for SSDI in some instances.
Obtaining Assistance with a Disability Claim
Knowing whether, when, and how different types of income and other financial resources can affect your eligibility for disability benefits might be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the SSA’s guidelines. For this reason, many candidates consult an attorney who specializes in disability law. A disability attorney or advocate can clarify the SSA’s regulations and assist you in gathering evidence, filing your claim, and, if necessary, fighting for approval.