WhatDisability.com - Information, News and Resources for All Types of Disabilities
Our goal is to provide disability information, news, resources and encouragement that enriches the disabled community. We hope to reach persons with all types of disabilities and limitations and those who would like to learn more.
Social Security Income Requirements & Payments
Earning Limits for SSDI
Under federal law, people who are receiving Social Security benefits who have not reached full retirement age are entitled to receive all of their benefits as long as their earnings are under the limits indicated below. For people born in 1943 through 1954, the full retirement age is 66. The full retirement age will increase gradually each year until it reaches age 67 for people born in 1960 or later.
At full retirement age or older No limit on earnings No limit on earnings
Under full retirement age $14,160 / For every $2 over $14,160 / For every $2 over
the limit, $1 is withheld from the limit, $1 is withheld from
In the year you reach full retirement age $37,680 / For every $3 over $37,680 / For every $3 over
the limit, $1 is withheld from the limit, $1 is withheld from
benefits until the month you benefits until the month you
reach full retirement age. reach full retirement age.
Disability beneficiaries' earnings limits
If you work while receiving disability benefits you must tell us about your earnings no matter how little you earn. You may have unlimited earnings during a trial work period of up to nine months (not necessarily in a row) and still receive full benefits. Once you have completed your nine-month trial work period, we will determine if you are still entitled to disability benefits. You also may be eligible for other work incentives to help you make the transition back to work.
Substantial Gainful Activity (Non-blind) $1,000 per month $1,000 per month
Substantial Gainful Activity (Blind) $1,640 per month $1,640 per month
Trial work period month $720 per month $720 per month
Income and Resource Requirement for SSI
Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own). Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. You can call SSA to find out the income limits in your state. Social Security does not count all of your income when deciding whether you qualify for SSI.
For example, they do not count:
•The first $20 a month of most income you receive;
•The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65;
•Shelter you get from private nonprofit organizations; and
•Most home energy assistance.
If you are married, part of your spouse's income and resources is included when deciding whether you qualify for SSI. If you are younger than age 18, part of your parents' income and resources is included. And, if you are a sponsored noncitizen, your sponsor's income and resources may be included. If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count. If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages you use to pay for items or services that help you to work. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair do not count as income when they decide whether you qualify for SSI. Also, Social Security does not count any wages a blind person uses for work expenses. For example, if a blind person uses wages to pay for transportation to and from work, the wages used to pay the transportation cost are not counted as income. If you are disabled or blind, some of the income you use (or save) for training or to buy things you need to work may not count.
Resources (things you own)
Resources that they count in deciding whether you qualify for SSI include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds.You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth no more than $2,000. A couple may be able to get SSI if they have resources worth no more than $3,000. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it. Social Security does not count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI. For example, they do not count:
•The home you live in and the land it is on;
•Life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500 or less;
•Your car (usually);
•Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family; and
•Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse.
Other rules you must meet
To get SSI, you must live in the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen or national. In some cases, noncitizen residents can qualify for SSI. For more information, see Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-11051). If you are eligible for Social Security or other benefits, you should apply for them. You can get SSI and other benefits if you are eligible for both. If you live in certain types of institutions, you may get SSI. If you live in a city or county rest home, halfway house or other public institution, you usually cannot get SSI. But there are some exceptions. If you live in a publicly operated community residence that serves no more than 16 people, you may get SSI. If you live in a public institution mainly to attend approved educational or job training to help you get a job, you may get SSI. If you live in a public emergency shelter for the homeless, you may get SSI. If you live in a public or private institution and Medicaid is paying more than half the cost of your care, you may get a small SSI benefit.
Payments from SSI
Monthly federal payment (maximum) 2010 2011
Individual $674 $674
Couple $1,011 $1,011
Individual whose income is only $1,433 $1,433
Remember, you must report all of your income to Social Security.
Some states add money to the federal SSI payment. If you live in one of these states, you may qualify for a higher payment. Your income can be greater than the limits indicated and you still may qualify. The added amount makes the total SSI benefit levels higher in those States. SSI benefit amounts and State supplemental payment amounts vary based upon your income, living arrangements, and other factors.
STATES THAT DO NOT SUPPLEMENT
Arkansas Northern Mariana Islands Kansas Tennessee Mississippi West Virginia
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT
SSA administers the State supplement for the following States. You may contact them about your total benefit amount.
California Delaware District of Columbia Hawaii Iowa* Massachusetts Michigan* Montana Nevada New Jersey New York* Pennsylvania* Rhode Island Utah Vermont*
*Dual administration State. Both Social Security and these States administer some State supplements.
STATE ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT
The following States pay and administer their own supplemental payments and you may contact the State for payment information.
Alabama Alaska Arizona Colorado Connecticut Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Minnesota Missouri Nebraska New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon South Carolina
South Dakota Texas Virginia Washington Wisconsin Wyoming
Payments from SSDI
The intent of Social Security is to give you the same benefit while you are disabled that you would have been eligible for had you continued working to Full Retirement Age. The amount of your monthly disability benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings. The amount of benefits varies depending on the amount of reported earnings over your working career and the age at which you become disabled. The Social Security Statement that you receive each year displays your lifetime earnings and provides an estimate of your disability benefit. It also includes estimates of retirement and survivors benefits that you or your family may be eligible to receive in the future. If you do not have your Social Security Statement and would like an estimate of your disability benefit, you can request one at www.socialsecurity.gov or call the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213.
Theoretically, the payment can be any amount from $1.00 to $1,600 per month or more. In 2008 the average is approximately $1,079.
There is no simple formula that tells you exactly how much you will get in SSDI benefits. Even if you get a figure from Social Security, it is only an estimate. The exact benefit can't be determined until you actually apply for benefits.
You will be advised about the amount of your benefit.
This is Social Security information for 2011. By law, some numbers change automatically each year to keep the program up to date with price and wage levels. For 2011, the law reduced the employee's share of the Social Security payroll tax by 2 percent. Employers still contribute the same tax rate as in 2011.
New Graduate School for Global Inclusion and Social Development of Persons with Disabilities - UMass