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Can I work without losing my SSI payments?

Maintaining a sense of self-sufficiency can be incredibly important for many people who have physical or mental limitations. While it may be all but impossible to work in a traditional 9-to-5 job, there are employment options for people who are blind, disabled or over the age of 65. 

However, many people who fall into one of these categories may assume that they cannot work in any type of job because they rely on the Supplemental Security Income they may be receiving. But it is important for people in this situation to understand that they can in fact work without losing their SSI benefits. 

The Social Security Administration has developed a number of work incentive programs that are designed to give people the opportunity to work while minimizing the risks that they will lose SSI. 

Those who participate in these incentive programs can work and earn their own money up to certain levels without it affecting monthly SSI payments. Even if a recipient earns over a certain amount while working, his or her SSI payments may only be decreased by a fraction of the amount that a person is earning. 

In some of the programs available, certain types of income or money spent on work expenses related to impairment will not be included in calculations to determine monthly SSI amounts. 

Independence can be invaluable to people who are limited by physical or mental issues, and many people gain this sense of independence and self-sufficiency by working. It can be important for people who collect SSI payments to understand that they are have a number of opportunities to pursue employment without risking losing the crucial benefits they depend on.

Speaking with an attorney before making any firm decisions about working or not working can help recipients of SSI explore their options and make a choice that they understand and can be satisfied with.

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