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What earnings must be reported for SSI-related benefits?

Supplemental Security Income is a program under Social Security Disability for those who are disabled, aged or blind and have little or no income. This provides cash benefits for them to have food, shelter and clothing. There are certain aspects that New Jersey residents need to understand when they are seeking or are already receiving SSI-related benefits. One is earnings and reporting them to the Social Security Administration. Knowing when and how this must be done is imperative to getting and retaining benefits.

With SSI, earnings are considered wages and income from self-employment that is accrued from work. Those who are working and receiving SSI must report their earnings. If there is a representative payee who manages the funds for the recipient, then he or she must report the earnings. Those who take part in the Ticket to Work program must also report their earnings. There are also times when the earnings of others must be reported. Examples of this include a spouse who lives with the SSI recipient; a child who receives SSI and lives with a parent who is earning money; and a non-citizen of the United States who has a sponsor and the sponsor has earnings even if he or she is not living with the SSI recipient.

The SSA must be informed of the following: the gross wages per month prior to taxes or other deductions; if the person stops working; if there are raises or reductions in the wages from income of self-employment; if a second or third job is taken; if there are work expenses that stem from the disability; and work expenses for a blind person. The SSA must see the pay stubs, forms for income tax, receipts for work expenses linked to the disability or blindness, and receipts for expenses that were paid as the person tries to achieve self-support. The earnings must be reported when the person starts or stops working or if there is a change in the earnings. There are specific dates during a month when this must be reported.

These and other requirements for Supplemental Security Income can be complicated and confusing. Those who are seeking to receive or are already receiving SSI benefits need to be aware of these factors to make certain they are adhering to the rules. For this and any other issue, it is important to have help from an attorney experienced in all avenues of Social Security Disability.

Source: ssa.gov, "SSI Spotlight On Reporting Your Earnings To Social Security -- 2016 Edition," accessed on Dec. 5, 2016

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