Applying for SSI part 5 Income and Payments

January 18, 2012 in Everyday with Special Needs, SSI

The last section of this series on Social Security Income (SSI) applications addresses the confusing issue of  Income.  The Social Security Administration has recently updated it’s website and regulations on the subject.  I’ve been modifying this post as needed.

The income your adult gets paid from his job is what is listed on the SSI application.    List each of  your adults employers and salary.   Remember from my first post on this subject, SSI – Social Security Income is a needs based program designed to provide disabled people with assistance in housing, food and clothing.    Your child is an “adult” and more than likely in need financially.  The Social Security office considers how much money your child himself makes in determining the need.   For the most part our kids don’t make enough to keep them in Starbucks let alone an apartment and duds.  More than likely your adult will qualify.

Income, according to SSA is money your adult  receives such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter (but not from a parent).  Parent’s income is not considered.  Our kids are adults now and legally financially responsible for themselves.  The government is stepping in to aid them in getting food, shelter and clothing.  Their income is relevant, not yours.

When Social Security determines if your adult is eligible for SSI payment, some things are not considered.  They don’t include food stamps, shelter you get from a nonprofit organization or most energy assistance (SDG&E discounts).  this site itemizes the rules.   Off the top they deduct $20 of most incomes.  They discount the first $65 of wages.  After that they take half of the remaining income and deduct it from the SSI award.  In other words, if your child earns more than $65 they are still eligible for SSI benefits.  The award is simply reduced by  half of the amount your child makes more than $65.

At the time of Patrick’s application he was earning a bi monthly paycheck of $60 from the San Diego school district as part of their program.  I made copies of those paystubs and sent them to their office.  For those few months his award was reduced by $120-$65-$20= $35/2 or $17.50.  When he no longer received the paychecks I contacted SSI and the full benefit amount was reinstated.

If your adult is gainfully employed and earns $500 a month from his employer.  500-85= 415/2=207.50.  If your adult makes 500 you will still be eligible for SSI, they will just take $217.50 each month out of the award.  Go to the above SSA link to see several examples.  Don’t delay in applying for SSI just because your adult has a job.  They are still eligible for SSI benefits.

Any of you have a child that sells their artwork?  Special needs art has become become big enough to warrant a line item in the application.  There is a new rule starting 2011regarding income earned from selling Art.  Monies received from selling art are considered income whether by employer, self employed or otherwise.

Benefits amounts vary mostly by state.  California pitches in a small portion of Patrick’s SSI benefits.  SSI benefits must be automatically deposited into a financial institution.   The going rate for California I believe is $674.   If your adult is living “Independently” and has  a contract with a landlord or you as the landlord, SSI will pay up to $845.00 a month.  You will send a copy of that Room and Board Agreement to SSA as a part of your application.

All and all it’s a horribly confusing and tedious process.  However, it is there as a benefit for our “adults”.  Just keep that in mind, they are adults.  You are filling out the forms for an adult.  Legally they are no longer children.  It’s difficult to grasp this concept, but it helps to keep it at the forefront of your mind when filling out the forms.  It’s only about the adult.   Your adult.

Get started today!!!!