We Heard You! More about Saving Money While Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
We recently posted a Money Mondays blog, The Importance of an Emergency Fund and have heard your comments and concerns! We understand that saving money for emergencies can be a challenge if you have a disability and depend on public benefit programs that have resource and asset limits, such as SSI, to meet your basic living expenses. However, there are a variety of programs that may help you set aside money while you are receiving SSI and working towards financial independence.
Here are some saving options:
Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) – PASS is a Work Incentive that allows you to set aside money from your income or resources to pay for training, equipment, support services and employment-related expenses that can lead to a job and higher income. Meet Michelle B. and learn how the PASS worked for her!
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – The EITC is a tax credit that helps people with low-to-moderate income reduce the amount of federal income tax they owe. (Even if a person doesn’t earn enough money to owe federal income taxes, he or she may qualify for the EITC.) To learn more, read Money Mondays: Don't Overlook The EITC Tax Credit! and Money Mondays: Your Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) - The SEIE allows an individual who is receiving SSI, under age 22 and regularly attending school to have earnings excluded from income. In 2013, the amounts excluded are $1,730 monthly up to a yearly maximum of $6,960. To learn more, visit Social Security’s webpage on SEIE.
Property Essential to Self-Support (PESS) – Social Security will evaluate whether to count some resources that you need to support yourself when they decide if you are eligible for SSI. For example, Social Security won't count property such as tools or equipment that you use for work. Or, if you have a trade or business, Social Security won't count property such as inventory.
- Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) - IDAs are special accounts that help you save your earnings for a specific goal. IDAs work by “matching” the amount of money you have saved from earnings from your job. The match happens after you have saved your agreed-upon amount, and can be dollar-for-dollar or even greater, up to eight dollars for every one dollar you put into the account. Making the most of your IDA can potentially help you reach your goal much faster! Read Money Mondays: Individual Development Accounts can help you reach your goals! to learn more about saving with an IDA.
Social Security wants you to succeed and become financially independent. The journey is not easy, but with the Ticket to Work program, Work Incentives and other federal programs and resources, you can achieve your goals. Many individuals have achieved their work goals and are now financially independent, as demonstrated by these Success Stories. If you are ready to change your life through work, get started today and learn about financial independence through our free WISE webinar, Ticket to Work: Support for People with Disabilities on the Journey to Financial Independence.
If you are age 18 through 64 and you receive SSDI and/or SSI due to a disability, you are be eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program. For information about the Ticket program and the Work Incentives mentioned here, please contact the Ticket to Work Help Line (1-866-968-7842 (V) or1-866-833-2967 (TTY) and talk to one of our representatives or e-mail them (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your personal situation. Get started today and see how Ticket to Work can help you increase your income, build-up assets and achieve a more financially independent future."