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Work incentives and Supplemental Security Income

Having a disability or a long-term illness can severely affect your independence and your quality of life. Having an independent life is something that the government wants to help all citizens work towards, if it is possible in their futures. However, those who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may fear that getting a part-time job will put their SSI benefits in jeopardy. This is why SSI has introduced work incentives in order to minimize a job seeker's risk of losing his or her benefits if he or she does attain part-time work.

What are some of these incentive programs and how do they work?

The incentive programs change the rules to the advantage of job seekers. For example, they may ignore some of your income so that you can continue to receive your SSI benefits regardless.

Earned income exclusion

When an SSI recipient starts part-time work, the first $65 dollars that they earn will not be taken into account and will not affect their SSI in any way. After they earn $65, for every $2 that they make, their SSI benefit will be deducted by $1.

Coverage of work expenses

The government understands that it is often more costly for a disabled person to work. Therefore, they offer to pay the costs of expenses such as assistive technology, software applications and counseling to help you make the transition into work.

If you are an SSI recipient that has concerns or questions about the SSI work incentives in place, it is a good idea to research the wide range of benefits available and seek assistance if you think necessary.

Source: SSA, "Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI Work Incentives -- 2017 Edition," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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