Social security benefits are immensely helpful for numerous individuals throughout America who need a little extra support in reaching a livable pay and meeting acceptable living standards. Still, some surprising life events can lower the total amount of benefits that some people might qualify for.
Income increases, changes in living situations, and receipt of government pensions can impact an individual’s eligibility for Social Security Income and/or Social Security benefits.
Read on to find out which things could reduce social security benefits.
Getting a Job or an Increase of Another Source of Income
Usually, people receive fewer social security benefits when they get a job or go back to work. This is most common after retirement. If individuals receive a major income increase they sometimes no longer need social security benefits.
Going back to work can make someone ineligible for social security disability benefits and it can also impact social security income (it can be ended or reduced). Substantial gainful activity refers to when individuals are making more than $1,090 per month and can cause benefits to stop or be reduced.
The SSA requires that periodic reviews take place to assess any change in the recipient’s disability condition. If the person is still deemed unable to work, they will still be considered disabled and will receive benefits. If a doctor verifies that a person’s condition has improved to the point where they can work again, they are no longer eligible for benefits.
Supplemental security income rates also depend on living arrangements. If a person has help with their living situation from family, friends, or other organizations, they will qualify for a lower supplemental security monthly payment.
The Social Security Administration views this help as unearned income. They reduce the benefit amounts for shelter and food since the recipient is not paying for these. This typically only applies to shelter and food. It won’t impact other gifts such as furniture, appliances, or other types of necessities that the person might receive.
Social security offset exists when a social security disability claim is filed on long-term care, health, life, and disability policies, the total benefits paid out can be lowered. It’s also possible to have double offsets taken if people have more than one LTD policy. Double offsets result in lower disability income.
Pensions From Government Work
The Social Security Administration can even lower payments by including income that someone earned through local, state, or federal government work, as long as they paid social security taxes on it. In the case of pension lump sums that are paid annually, these are divided by twelve months and deducted from monthly benefits.
Certain exceptions exist, though. Federal employees who are a part of the retirement system will not experience a reduction in benefits. Current federal employees with a monthly pension for a position that they contribute to social security taxes with won’t have their monthly payments reduced as long as they filed for or were eligible for spouse benefits prior to April 1, 2004. Government workers who have paid social security taxes over the course of the last 60 months of service will not have their monthly payments reduced.
It’s important to know how various life events can affect payments because they affect many people. Breaking down the knowledge barrier can help people understand which benefits they have access to, and which things might be a hindrance to receiving social security disability payments. The Social Security Administration will always notify those who have a change in their monthly benefit eligibility.