As previous posts on this blog has discussed, the Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI, is different from the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI. Both programs require that a person be disabled before getting monthly paychecks from the Social Security Administration, but they are administered differently.
One of the biggest difference is that, unlike SSDI, the SSI program does not require a Houston resident to have a significant work history, as the program is designed to help those who have never been able to work and are thus of limited means. One of the tradeoffs, however, is that a Texan who wants to get SSI, in addition to proving he or she has a disability, must also prove he or she is of limited income and means.
Currently, SSI’s income requirements mean that a single person cannot have more “countable income” than $735 a month, although for a couple, the threshold is a little higher. As a word of caution, however, any countable income a person makes will reduce the person’s monthly SSI benefit, such that at a certain point, it may not be worth pursuing SSI.
Likewise, the Administration also considers a person applying for SSI’s financial resources, like any savings accounts, stocks or other property a person might own that would serve to support them in their disability. Again, though, not every resource counts, as the Administration exempts certain property that is necessary for a person to survive.
The rules of what constitutes countable income and what does not can be quite complicated, but Houston, Texas, residents should be assured that not every penny they make will go toward reducing their benefits. However, these sorts of questions on what counts and what does not count as income are often best answered by a qualified Social Security Disability attorney.