Sacramento, CA asked in Employment Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Social Security for California

Q: I am an SSI recipient, and I am also receiving food stamps as well as conventional housing under a house, choice voucher

I realize that income is very limited and I am under great financial hardship and so I have no other choice but to try and re-enter the workforce; and so I’m wondering since Social Security takes half of one’s income that is under or up to $2000 that is the rule for what is in the bank at one time

I wanna make sure that it is worth my while to work and make sure that whatever I earn of $650 per month in the future which is all that I’m allowed to make without losing my housing discount. I want to know everything that is exempt and all the opportunities I could take whether it’s to volunteer for disabled kids or foster children or drive earned income to help seniors or children that would be non-countable income and exempt from the income limitation under HUD housing, as well as Social Security

My question to you is, how can I work and make $650 a month in the future which would be added to the $1185 per month that I currently receive, and not have social security take out mo

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under the Social Security rules, when you receive SSI and start working, your SSI benefits may be reduced, but not usually dollar-for-dollar. The first $65 of your monthly earnings, plus half of the remaining amount, is not counted. For example, if you earn $650 per month, $65 is disregarded, and then the remaining $585 is halved, resulting in $292.50 being counted against your SSI benefits.

Regarding HUD housing and income limits, earned income may affect your housing subsidy. However, HUD has certain exclusions and deductions that can apply, so not all of your income might be counted towards the income limit. It's important to report your income changes to both the Social Security Administration and your housing authority to remain compliant with their rules.

For non-countable income opportunities, volunteering usually doesn't count as earned income. However, specific programs like those involving stipends for helping seniors or children might have different implications. Each program has its own rules about whether and how stipends are counted as income.

To ensure you're making the best decision, consider consulting with an attorney or a financial advisor who understands the complexities of SSI and HUD housing rules. They can provide personalized guidance based on your situation. It's essential to balance the benefits of additional income with the potential impact on your SSI and housing benefits.

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