Slepian Smith, PLLC

5 events that could affect your SSI benefits

Supplemental Security Income is a vital source of financial support to people who are eligible. It allows them to cover basic care and living expenses that they otherwise could not afford on their own.

While it is a considerable relief to collect these benefits, it is important to understand that they are not guaranteed. They can be lost or reduced under certain circumstances. Below, we examine five changes in circumstances that could lead to loss of SSI benefits.

Getting married

Marrying someone can have a significant impact on your SSI benefits because it can change the resources that the Social Security Administration counts when assessing eligibility. Additionally, if your spouse also collects SSI, then the resource limits the SSA counts will change from an individual rate to a couple rate.

Moving

The SSA can reduce SSI payments if you move in with someone who pays most or all of the bills or if you move into your own home and someone else provides in-kind support and maintenance. Your benefits can also be reduced if you are in a hospital or nursing home for a month and Medicaid or insurance pays for at least 50 percent of your care.

Getting a job

If you get a job, you may no longer qualify for SSI if you earn over a specific amount. To be eligible for SSI, you cannot have more than $2,000 in resources as an individual.

Improvement in your condition

Unless a person is over 65 or blind, he or she must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. If your condition improves to an extent that you are capable of performing substantial gainful activity, you could lose SSI benefits.

Incarceration

As stated in this SSA article, a person who is in jail, prison, a halfway house or a detention center cannot collect SSI benefits in full calendar months during which he or she is detained.

Whether a change is positive or adverse, it can be frightening to think about losing SSI. If you have questions about something that could affect your SSI benefits, it can be critical to consult an attorney. A legal representative familiar with this program can help you examine options that could allow you to protect your benefits.

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