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Countable income and how it affects SSI benefits


In a prior post, this blog discussed Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and what counts as income with regard to a person's application for these benefits. An applicant's eligibility for SSI benefits hinges on whether that person has a qualifying disability, as well as how much countable income the applicant has. Thus, as the prior post on this blog explained, it is important for applicants in Houston to understand what counts as income and what doesn't. But that's only one of the steps that must be taken to determine how much in SSI benefits a person might be eligible for.

After classifying the person's various income sources as either countable or not, the next step the Social Security Administration (SSA) will take is to determine how the applicant's countable income level will affect their potential benefit.

The SSA adds up all of the person's countable income and then subtracts that total from their SSI federal benefit rate. For the year 2015, the benefit rate for individuals is $733 per month.

For example, if an individual with a qualifying disability earns $280 per month in countable income, their SSI benefit would be $453 per month. On the other hand, if that same individual's monthly countable income exceeded $733 per month, the person would not be eligible for SSI benefits.

The examples here are just for illustrative purposes and do not necessarily reflect the benefits that any particular person might be able to get. While the SSI income classifications and rules are the guiding framework when it comes to understanding SSI benefits, each applicant should also understand how their particular circumstances might alter the benefit amount that is available to them.

Any disabled individuals in the Houston area who have been denied SSI claims, or who need help with applying for benefits or getting more information, may want to reach out to a Social Security disability attorney.

Source: SSA.gov, "Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI Income -- 2015 Edition," Accessed July 6, 2015

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