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What are the income limits to receive SSI benefits?

A person who lives in New Jersey and is blind, disabled or age 65 or older and has low income and limited resources can apply for Supplemental Security Income. There are certain rules that the person must follow. Included in those rules is a limit on their income. Before applying, the person must understand how much they can earn. If they earn too much, they might be ineligible.

Income is classified as a variety of different moneys that come in. It can be wages, Social Security, pensions and more. Similarly classified as income is food and shelter. All income that a person receives will not be counted toward the determination as to whether they qualify for SSI or not. The Social Security Administration will not count the following: the first $20 of income per month; the first $65 earned from work per month and half of whatever the person earns over $65; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits - previously referred to as "food stamps; if the person is given shelter from a non-profit; and most home energy assistance.

For applicants who are married, part of the spouse's income will be factored in when deciding if the applicant meets the criteria to receive SSI. Those who are under age 18 will have their parents' income counted. A sponsored non-citizen might have the income of the sponsor calculated. Students might not have wages or scholarships counted. It is important to remember that resources are also important when applying.

A person who is disabled but continues to work will not have those wages counted against them if they are used to pay for things that help them work. An example would be a wheelchair. A person who is blind and needs transportation to and from work will not have the wages used to pay for the transportation counted as part of the calculation. When seeking SSI-related benefits, there are basic foundational issues that will largely determine whether the application will be approved. Income is one of them. A lawyer who is experienced in Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income can help with a case from start to finish and help file an appeal if there is a denial.

Source: ssa.gov, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) -- Income -- pages 2-3," accessed on Oct. 30, 2017

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