If you can no longer work because you are seriously ill or have sustained a debilitating injury, you may be eligible for Social Security Income (SSI) benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). In North Carolina, as with the other states, to be eligible for SSI, you must meet specific income and asset limits. To be fair, the SSA gives some breaks when counting income. Here is some helpful information regarding income and asset limits for applying for SSI in North Carolina.
What is SSI?
SSI is an SSA-run program that gives money to people who are disabled or over 65 years of age. To be eligible for the program, you must have no more than $2,000 in assets for one person or less than $3,000 for a couple. Recipients must also be under a certain level of countable income as well. This income includes wages, unemployment benefits, retirement benefits, and both monetary and non-monetary gifts.
In most cases, the income threshold to receive SSI payments is $735 per month for an individual or $1,103 for a couple. However, it is important to remember that all income is not considered to be countable.
Whose income counts?
Every disability case is different. But, in most cases, the SSA counts the income of all people who live with the person who is receiving benefits. If you apply for benefits and your spouse is not an SSI benefits recipient, then part of your spouse’s income will be counted. If a child is disabled, then part of each parent’s income will count as the child’s.
The SSA does not count all of the income you bring into your household. Non-countable forms of income include:
– The first $20 of most types of income per month
– SNAP (food stamps)
– Tax refunds
– Public benefits based on your household’s needs
– Loans that you must repay
You may also deduct any disability-related expenses from your income.
Earned income exclusions
The SSA also allows the following exclusions from earned income:
– The first $65 per month plus ½ of anything earned over $65 per month.
Most states also grant supplemental payments to SSI recipients. The current supplement in North Carolina is dependent on several factors. But, many recipients receive between $500-900 per month.
If you think you may qualify for disability benefits, contact Clauson Law today to see how we can help you.