It is hard for anyone to make financial decisions. When you are on SSI you may be confused about restrictions or even told taking a sub-minimum wage job helps you. So you are worried about getting a minimum wage job. But, you can work anywhere if you get help understanding how SSI works.
A Benefits Planner can help you to make a financial plan. A Benefits Planner is a trained expert who can help Social Security beneficiaries understand disability benefit programs. Please read the list below to find the Benefits Planner near you. Just know you can work. In the case of being a student with a disability, there is an incentive program called Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE). SEIE is not solely for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. A student with mental illness or solely a physical disability meeting Social Security Administration’s (SSA) criteria would also be eligible.
The fact sheet [i]on the SEIE program would tell you:
If you receive SSI benefits and you are under age 22, and regularly attend school, the SSA will not count up to $1,780 of wages per month, while you are attending school and working. You would need to be in a college or university at least 8 hours a week, or in grades 7-12 for at least 12 hours a week, or in training to prepare for employment for at least 12 hours a week (15 hours a week if shop practice is involved). Of course things beyond your control such as illness are understandable, and may reduce the attendance requirements. Those being home schooled because of their parent’s belief in this model and have a disability also have ways to be considered regularly attending school. So, in those cases you could work without getting your benefits reduced. Again I recommend talking to a Benefits Planner before making any financial decisions with SSI.
The main point I want to make is, SEIE is a good incentive for students under age 22 to work while receiving SSI benefits.
As you grow up, don’t settle for a job offer paying below minimum wage. The bottom line is, if you have SSI don’t fear your finances or believe horror stories about what you can’t do. Just talk to an expert and get an understanding of the rules and programs you can use. The expert who knows what you can do is your benefits planner for any form of social security.
[i] Longcor, Joe. (2016). Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) 2016 Fact Sheet on Work Incentives. Presentation from Bureau of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration, MDCH, East Lansing, MI, July 18, 2016.
Here is contact information for the Community Work Incentives Coordinators by county – Benefits Planner
A trained expert who can help Social Security beneficiaries understand disability benefit programs. Their goal is to help you avoid complications while developing a sustainable financial plan for your future. Use the list below to find a Benefits Planner serving your area.
United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan
Counties Served: Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gladwin, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Houghton, Ionia, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Kalkaska, Kent, Keweenaw, Lake, Leelanau, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missau, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegan, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Oscoda, Osceola, Otsego, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Schoolcraft, Wexford
United Cerebral Palsy Association of Metropolitan Detroit
Counties Served: Livingston, Oakland, Wayne
The Arc Michigan
Counties Served: Allegan, Barry, Bay, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, Lenawee, Macomb, Monroe, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw