The decision to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can be emotionally challenging when it accompanies the realization that your condition is permanent and prevents you from working full-time. Fortunately, it is possible to continue working part-time while receiving vital assistance.
Financial planning is a critical aspect of applying for disability benefits and requires that you know the answers to the following questions.
What is the qualifying income for disability benefits?
There are no income limits to qualify for SSDI, but if you choose to work, you typically cannot make more than $1,350 from your employment. Therefore, you can work and still receive benefits if your gross monthly salary falls below this threshold.
To qualify for SSI, your income may not exceed $861. You can work as long as your income does not exceed your SSI award, and you cannot retain more than $2,000 in qualifying assets. However, you can still receive these benefits and keep or grow your assets by placing them into a special needs trust.
What are the benefits of special needs trusts?
Placing assets over the allowable limit into a special needs trust can help you qualify for SSI benefits. A trust assumes ownership of the assets, thereby shielding them from consideration by the Department of Social Services, though the state receives the balance following the beneficiary’s death.
You can use the assets you place in the trust to pay for qualifying expenses your disability benefits do not cover, including medical and dental expenses, furniture, household appliances, education, travel, recreational activities and other expenditures related to improving your life quality.
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits involves gathering the appropriate medical documentation concerning your disability and creating a financial plan to help ensure a positive outcome.