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What is considered 'income' if I get SSI in New Jersey?

Almost a month ago, this blog listed quite a few instances in which a change in a Supplemental Security Income recipient's life needs to be reported to the Social Security Administration. One of the most important of these factors is a change in income. However, there may be more facets to an income change than some New Jersey residents may think.

According to the SSA, income includes checks, cash or any other form of wealth that can be utilized to purchase food and shelter. However, the SSA lists some other examples of what might be considered income. Annuities or other income generators like unemployment benefits, workers' compensation or pensions would count. Also, if someone were to provide a recipient with free food or shelter, or the money to pay for such, that would also need to be reported as income. Inheritances and union benefits, as well as alimony or other support payments would also be considered income. Also prize winnings, such as a lottery ticket or other awards such as a court-ordered settlement will be counted as income.

Of course, the above is not an exhaustive list, and other things may also be considered income. However, the SSA also lists some things that are not considered income for these purposes, such as payments for medical care and other health-related services. Interest and dividends paid may also not be considered income, as well as certain types of funds received from the Internal Revenue Service. Also, money earned by selling or exchanging personal property is not counted as income for the month, though it may be an asset for the purposes of the next month's payments if it is still in a bank account.

As can be seen, what qualifies as income that needs to be reported to the SSA may or may not be intuitive. As we pointed out previously, a failure to report income in a timely manner can lead to the loss of SSI benefits. In these cases, if people are unsure about what they need to report, they may want to speak with a New Jersey disability lawyer.

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