Since its inception, Social Security has benefitted hundreds of millions of Americans in need. A large portion of these benefits go to those with severe disabilities who are unable to earn sufficient wages.
To be sure Social Security goes to those who need it most, income plays a large role in deciding who receives Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supple-mental Security Income (SSI).
What are the income limits in order to not qualify for benefits?
Because Social Security handles so many unique situations, there are many facets to this question. To answer it, we will start with the basic numbers and explore the exceptions/details from there.
Keep in mind that your situation may be unique, as not all income is evaluated by the SSA. Some forms as income, such as child support, will not count against your total monthly earned income.
To qualify for SSDI, you must earn less than $1,170 per month. To qualify for SSI, you must earn less than $735 per month.
While these numbers do fluctuate, the income limit typically falls around this range. Anyone who earns more than this amount from jobs or under-the-table work qualifies as engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). Those who have SGA are considered independent enough to earn a living and do not qualify to receive disability insurance from Social Security. However, due to the national average wage index (which is used to create these income limits), these numbers tend to increase a bit each year.
Also important to note: the income limit to qualify for SSDI is raised to $1,950 for those who are blind. This is because the US government recognizes blindness as a unique disability in a world so catered to those with vision. This additional income is intended to cover any additional expenses that those who are blind need to survive.
Some forms of income are not included in these limits.
These differ slightly from SSDI to SSI. In regards to SSDI, most forms of income that are not made directly from work wages or under-the-table work are not included in substantial gainful activity. This includes investments, interest, a spouse’s income, or other assets.
When referring to SSI, it gets a bit trickier. Some assets and interest may count towards the monthly total while others may not. However, income from a spouse does affect the limit for SGA — couples have an income limit of $1,103/month.
Even if you may have substantial gainful activity, you can still apply for SSDI/SSI.
Situations vary greatly from person to person. Depending on the nature of your disability and the nature of your income, you may still qualify for SSDI or SSI. Do not let these numbers prevent you from applying altogether — it is always better to apply and not qualify than not apply at all.
Consulting with a Social Security Attorney
Social Security can be complicated and very intimidating to apply for. It is also vital that everything is completed correctly so that your chances of receiving benefits are their highest.
To maximize your potential to receive benefits, consider getting assistance from a Social Security attorney. Their expertise in filing paperwork and presenting cases can make all the difference you need to qualify for the benefits you deserve.