You know that you may be able to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) because of your long-term struggle with sight and hearing loss, but something you aren't sure about is how Supplement Security Income (SSI) works.
Supplemental Security Income is paid to those who are blind, disabled or 65 or older and have limited incomes. Children may also obtain SSI if they suffer from disabilities or blindness.
There are a few things you need to know about SSI. First, it's meant to help provide a boost in income to those who do not have a significant amount of money or benefits. Many who obtain SSI are receiving SSD, and SSI helps cover some additional costs they may have with a small amount of additional income.
If you are disabled, you may be able to obtain SSI. However, remember that if you go back to work, that work could affect how much you receive in SSI and SSD. If you return to work, you may see a reduction in your SSD payments and SSI. As of 2017, you may earn up to $1,555 per month in income without SSD and still retain your SSI payments. If you intend to go back to work, you may want to look into the work incentives offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) before doing so.
Once your income becomes substantial, your earnings will be too high for you to qualify for disability or SSI. Substantial gainful activity essentially means you're working enough that you no longer qualify for disability. In 2017, you can earn up to $1,170 or $1,950 if you are blind.
Your attorney can help you understand more about SSD and SSI if you intend to boost your income with part-time work. There are ways to work without affecting your benefits significantly.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "Social Security Q&A: How SSI benefit fits into the big picture," May 12, 2017