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How are earnings reported with regard to SSI?

Supplemental Security Income, as we have touched on in the past, is a program meant for people who are disabled but have not worked enough - and therefore paid enough into the Social Security system - to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. As these programs are meant as a safety net for disabled individuals, one of the factors in whether one qualifies for benefits, and the size of those benefits, is whether that person earns any income, and how much. Therefore, those attempting to gain or continue receiving SSI benefits must report their earnings to the Social Security Administration.

According to the SSA, earnings include either or both of one's wages paid by an employer, or income gleaned from self-employment. There are various reporting requirements in this regard. If you are to receive SSI you are going to have to report your monthly before-tax wages, any change in your wages or income from self employment, whether you begin or end multiple jobs, and any expenses you have that are related to your disability - though if you are eligible for benefits due to blindness, other work expenses are also reported. As evidence, SSA will need to see all your pay stubs, including documentations about bonuses, vacations and the like. If you receive self-employment income, you will need to provide certain schedules from your federal income tax filing. You will also need receipts for your disability-related work expenses or other work expenses if you are blind.You need to report any of the above changes within 10 days of the end of the month in which the change occurred. SSA will determine your benefits based upon how much you earn, but your earnings as calculated by Social Security can be decreased by your eligible work expenses. If you have questions about your specific situation, you can call the Social Security office, or you may consider contacting an experienced Ohio disability attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Spotlight on Reporting Your Earnings to Social Security -- 2014 Edition," accessed March 2, 2015

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