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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11603
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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I just asked. A question. How soon can I get an answer?

Customer Question

Hi I just asked. A question. How soon can I get an answer ?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

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I just did a search on your user name and there was only this question. Are you sure you asked a question?

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(Be glad to help you here, on THIS question thread, if this deals with Social Security, tax, corporate, securities or ERISA law, law)

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Let me know...

Lane

..

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I hold a law degree, (Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My question was as follows....... A family member gave me approx 350 dollars to pay off a credit card......also my bank statement is showing an online bingo win ...I claim SSI benefit and wonder if this will affect my claim. I am expecting a review in a couple of days thank you
Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for that ... Perhaps the best way to answer is to give you details of exactly how they do this ... It's hard to say simpkly yes or no without knowing more about your situation.

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First it's importasnt to know that they define income (for THIS purpose) as more than just what we might think of as income

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BUT

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There are certain items that DON'T count as income as well.

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(From Social Security)

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WHAT IS INCOME?

  • Earned Income is wages, net earnings from self–employment, certain royalties, honoraria, and sheltered workshop payments.
  • Unearned Income is all income that is not earned, such as Social Security benefits, pensions, State disability payments, unemployment benefits, interest income, and cash from friends and relatives.
  • In–Kind Income is food or shelter that you get for free or less than its fair market value.
  • Deemed Income is the part of the income of your spouse with whom you live, your parent(s) with whom you live, or your sponsor (if you are an alien), which we use to compute your SSI benefit amount

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Now hang with me ... I'll be right back with the items that are NOT COUNTABLE as income

Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Generally, the more countable income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your countable income is over the allowable limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits. Some of your income may not count as income for the SSI program.

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Examples of payments or services we do not count as income for the SSI program include but are not limited to:

  • the first $20 of most income received in a month;
  • the first $65 of earnings and one–half of earnings over $65 received in a month;
  • the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) received;
  • income tax refunds;
  • home energy assistance;
  • assistance based on need funded by a State or local government, or an Indian tribe;
  • small amounts of income received irregularly or infrequently;
  • interest or dividends earned on countable resources or resources excluded under other Federal laws;
  • grants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses;
  • food or shelter based on need provided by nonprofit agencies;
  • loans to you (cash or in–kind) that you have to repay;
  • money someone else spends to pay your expenses for items other than food or shelter (for example, someone pays your telephone or medical bills);
  • income set aside under a Plan to Achieve Self–Support (PASS). See the SSI Spotlight on Plan to Achieve Self–Support;
  • earnings up to $1,780 per month to a maximum of $7,180 per year (effective January 2015) for a student under age 22. See the SSI Spotlight on Student Earned Income Exclusion;
  • the cost of impairment–related work expenses for items or services that a disabled person needs in order to work. See the SSI Spotlight on Impairment–Related Work Expenses;
  • the cost of work expenses that a blind person incurs in order to work. See the SSI Spotlight on Special SSI Rule for Blind People Who Work;
  • disaster assistance;
  • the first $2,000 of compensation received per calendar year for participating in certain clinical trials;
  • refundable Federal and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010; and
  • certain exclusions on Indian trust fund payments paid to American Indians who are members of a federally recognized tribe
Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

So, here's the calculation: by the way the 2016 SSI amount ... "Federal Benefit Rate" ...for a single person (used in the example below) is $733/mo. It's 1100 for a couple.

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HOW DOES YOUR INCOME AFFECT YOUR SSI BENEFIT?

Step 1: We subtract any income that we do not count from your total gross income. The remaining amount is your "countable income".

Step 2: We subtract your "countable income" from the SSI Federal benefit rate. The result is your monthly SSI Federal benefit as follows:

1) Your Total Income
- Your income that we do not count
= Your countable income

2) SSI Federal benefit rate
- Your countable income
= Your SSI Federal benefit

Expert:  Lane replied 9 months ago.

Finally, here's the full blown list (from the Code of Federal Regulations) of what is NOT income.

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https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/416/416-1103.htm

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Hopefully this will equip you to have a full understanding AND help you in categorizing ... but, so sorry, from what you've said, these items could serve to reduce income for that month.

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(You might show them the exclusion for small amounts of income received irregularly or infrequently)

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Not that if a disability policy pays of debt it's not counted...but there's nothing in the law about an individual paying it off

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I hope you’ll rate me (using those stars, or faces on your screen, by clicking submit) based on thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good news / bad news content. Otherwise I’m working for no crediting at all here.

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But please let me know if yhou have any questions at all

Thank you!

Lane

I have a law degree, (Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.