If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you may be concerned about how your monthly wages will effect those benefits. You are not alone, many people are worried that if they make too much money they will lose their benefits. The good new is, you can work and keep your benefits. The better news is, even if you receive less benefits you will still have a higher income by working than not.
Even if you earn enough money to cause your SSI benefits amount to go to zero, you’re not “out” of the SSI program -DB101 California.
Working at minimum wage does not automatically cause you to lose benefits. The idea is that, if over a period of time, it appears that you are able to work an independent job in the community and make more than the maximum then you no longer need the SSI cash. If you want to work or develop a career and become independent, then the goal is to become self sufficient. This means you are supporting yourself and there is no longer a limit on what you are “allowed” to make. What a wonderful thing!
Medical benefits are another concern for many individuals who receive SSI, but did you know that your Medi-Cal coverage can continue even after your earnings have reduced your SSI benefits to zero? Even if you make so much money that you no longer qualify for Medi-Cal there are low cost medical insurance programs for you. If you lose your job within five years after benefits have stopped, you may request an Expedited Reinstatement to start the benefits again.
SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance benefit operates a little differently. SSDI is a federal program that gives a cash benefit to people with long-term disabilities who qualify because they used to work or have family members who worked. There is also SDI or State Disability Insurance that gives a cash benefit for one year or less to Californians with disabilities who worked before becoming disabled. There are different earning limits and rules for SSDI, be sure to check them out.
The SSI cash benefit continues at full amount up to the first $1,090. After that, for every $2 you earn the cash benefit reduces by $1. You will always make more money by earning a higher wage.
To find out what your income will look like if you work a full time minimum wage job, try this calculator on the California Social Security program site. For more detailed assistance regarding your benefits go to the Experts Page.