As Massachusetts disability lawyers, we keep an eye on all updates in Social Security Administration (SSA) disability law. This year, the SSA has changed the numbers for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit program.
Changes To the SSI Benefit Program
Beginning January 2012, the maximum SSI benefit you can receive is $698 per eligible individual and $1,048 per eligible couple. The actual amount you might receive depends on your income, living situation and other circumstances.
If you work, your benefits can be affected. If you have no other income or expenses for your work, and received $500 a month in wages, the SSA calculates your benefit. Following is an example of how this is done:
- You make $500 gross wages minus $85, which equals $415.
- The $415 is divided by two, which equals $207.50. This amount, your “countable earnings” is deducted from your SSI benefit.
- Since the maximum benefit allowed is $698 in 2012, the amount of $207.50 is taken away from the total and you would receive $490.50.
Impairment-Related Work Expenses
If you pay for items or services you need to help you work, you may be eligible for more payment. These “impairment-related work expenses” include things like medicines, screen-readers, service animals, counseling or therapy.
If you are blind and working, you can deduct 50% of any “blind-work expenses.” This might include transportation to and from work, taxes, visual and sensory aids and any care services you might need.
Also, individual states may provide supplemental funds and/or services in addition to any SSI benefit you receive. For instance, the state of Massachusetts Office on Disability provides numerous services and benefits for its disabled citizens. These include defending the rights of the disabled, training, and help with living expenses.
Speak To a Disability Lawyer Today
If you need help with or have questions about your Massachusetts SSA Supplemental Security Income claim, call the offices of Keefe Disability Law toll free at 888-904-6947 or fill in the confidential form on this page. Located near Boston, our Massachusetts disability lawyers proudly represent the disabled throughout New England.