Supplemental Security Income is a vital avenue for people in New Jersey and across the nation who are disabled, 65 and older or blind and meet the necessary income and resource requirements to be approved. However, there are important points that go along with applying for SSI benefits. One of the basics is understanding how income factors in.

Knowing how the Social Security Administration defines and assesses income is a key part of getting SSI. If a person receives cash or in-kind items to meet the needs for food and shelter, it is considered income. With SSI, income is that which can be used to sell or convert into food and shelter. With SSI, the following are types of income: earned income, unearned income, in-kind income, and deemed income.

Earned income counts as wages, any net earnings that were received via self-employment, sheltered workshop payments, compensation and certain royalties. Unearned income would be a pension, Social Security benefits, disability from the state, unemployment, cash from friends and relatives, and interest. In-kind income is when the person is given food or shelter for free or at a cheaper price than market value. Deemed income is income that is earned by a spouse that the applicant resides with, from parents they live with, or a sponsor for an alien.

The amount of SSI the applicant will receive hinges on how much income they receive. More income means less in SSI. There are various types of income that will not be counted when determining the person’s SSI amount. When a person meets the basic requirements to get SSI, income can be the determinative factor as to whether they are finally approved or not. Understanding the facts about income is imperative to an SSI case. Those who are in need of Supplemental Security Income will inevitably need legal help with their case and a law firm that specializes in Social Security disability and SSI should be called for guidance and advice.