Published on: April 5, 2016
The Social Security Administration has been providing substantial income, SSDI and SSI benefits, to those who are disabled and are no longer able to sufficiently provide for themselves or their families. While you may be receiving full disability benefits, your overall Social Security disability and SSI benefits may be lowered or discontinued as a result of 4 factors.
4 Factors Lowering Your Social Security Benefits
Many factors can affect your Social Security and SSI benefits while other factors seem relatively insignificant. Determining what affects your disability benefits can be tricky at times. That’s why we have created a list of 4 factors that will help you determine whether your Social Security benefits are subject to lowering or being discontinued.
1. If your income increases
Often times your income will increase by returning to work. So, if you are earning a sizable income, also known as “Substantial Gainful Activity” earning over $1,130 per month in 2016, then your benefits are likely to be affected or discontinued.
Since SSDI or SSI benefits are to help the disabled maintain a livable income and standard of life, if your income increases, then your disability benefits are subject to lowering or being terminated.
2. If your condition improves
The SSA awards a person disability benefits based on how their disabling condition interferes with their ability to work. Therefore, if your condition improves enough for you to be able to work again, then the SSA will no longer consider you eligible for receiving disability benefits.
The SSA monitors your condition with routine reviews conducted by a professional who will verify your (in)ability to work based on your disabling condition.
3. Other government or public benefits-- including pensions and unemployment
As long as your monthly earnings from work do not exceed $1,130 in 2016, then your disability benefits should continue in Florida and your unemployment will not lower your SSDI benefits; however, if you find work and receive both unemployment and disability benefits while earning well over that amount, then your disability benefits will discontinue. In addition, Unemployment benefits will reduce the amount of any SSI you may be receiving.
The Social Security Administration uses different formulas for different situations. If you are receiving a pension from work, not covered by Social Security, then your Social Security benefits rate will likely be reduced under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
4. Your living arrangements
Where you live can affect your overall benefits rate. If your friends, family or outside organizations are providing living assistance for you, then your SSI benefits rate may be reduced. This is because your food and shelter needs are assumed to be paid for by the third party, so you no longer need extra funding for them. These factors only affect SSI; they have no effect on SSDI entitlement and payment amounts.
According to the SSA, institutions, care facilities or another person’s household are considered “in-kind support and maintenance.” As this is an unearned income, your food and shelter benefits may be reduced if you are no longer paying for them.
Are Your Social Security Benefits Affected?
The Social Security Administration provides sufficient income for those who are no longer able to provide for themselves or for their families. If you are receiving disability benefits, they are subject to being reduced or terminated depending on your situation.
If someone else is offering you living assistance, you are receiving other benefits, your income increases or your condition improves, then your benefits are likely to be reduced-- if not, terminated.