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What are work incentives for Supplemental Security Income?

There are many people in New Jersey who are disabled in some way. These disabilities could be mental, due to injuries, due to diseases or something that the person was born with like blindness. These disabilities can be total in nature or partial, but in either case it can limit a person's ability to work and earn an income. To help assist people in these situations, they can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which can help them pay for the living expenses.

However, one of the requirements of SSI is that the person cannot earn over a certain amount of income. If they earn too much, they may lose their ability to receive the benefits. At the same time, it is important for people to be able to work if they are able too. Sometimes, they may be able to work, but they cannot earn enough to be completely self-supporting, yet may earn too much to receive SSI benefits.

The law recognizes this and to help people in this situation, it offers work incentives. Some incentives only count some of one's income. For example, one incentive only counts half of one's earned income. So, for every $2 a person earns, only $1 will be counted for purposes of their SSI benefits. Other work incentives include allowing a person to exclude out-of-pocket expenses related to their disability from their income. Another one allows people to stay on Medicaid even though they are not receiving SSI cash assistance.

Many people in New Jersey receive SSI benefits due to a disability. Some of these individuals may be capable of working and least part-time but they are worried about losing their benefits. Luckily there are work incentives for people in this position, which allow them to work and still continue to receive their SSI benefits. Experienced attorneys understand this complicated area of law and may be a useful guide.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Work Incentives" accessed on March 21, 2017

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