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SSI /What happens to me?

Hello everyone, I'm brand new and glad I found you. I need help because I am really traumatized right now. 

 

I've been on SSI 15 months. I'm disabled unable to work with permanent, severe spinal stenosis, PTSD, depression. 

 

I was told I have to meet with SSA for a financial redetermination in a few weeks. I was horrified when I went online to do some research and saw that I was supposed to be claiming ANY and ALL income earned even if its gifts from family and friends. I have about 6 checks I deposited into my account, along with about 15 checks for research studies I did from home (mostly for studies/focus groups) on health problems and mental health issues. In total, since October 2017, everything totals about $3,000 I earned

 

I can honestly tell you I was really ill informed, thinking I only need to report a real job or inheritance. 

What will happen to me now? I can't work. I'm 58, and used to be homeless. My PTSD is so bad I have passed out and have breakdowns in public (all documented from hospital) I'm literally horrified right now, afraid I'm going to lose my benefits and my apartment. I'm not a dishonest person, I'm just naive and new to all this and made a terrible mistake not reporting this income. .

 

Thank you for any advice, support or direction you can offer me. 

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Periodic Contributor

Call your local field office. The local number should be in the phone book.  Ask for the SSI case worker who is handling your claim. Explain your circumstances. They will explain how to fix it. You can use www.ssa.gov to find the local field office or call 800-772-1213 (say “agent” over and over until you get to a live person. hold times are shorter 5-7 p.m. Pacific time).  It is great that you caught this now because sooner or later Social Security will figure it out. They get the earnings information from the IRS. When they find it, they will send you a letter saying “you owe us $X enclosed is an envelope so you can send us a check.” That is called an “overpayment.”. If you have an overpayment, you can make arrangements to pay it off over time; sometimes $50 p/m at a time.  But do it now before it really gets out of hand.  Don’t keep taking checks — or spend as little as you can— until you get this figured out.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@PatR107174

 

Your post would be a better fit under the Social Security board rather than the Medicare and Insurance board - but don't worry about that - the moderators can move the entire thread if they want.

 

Yes, some of that income you mentioned should be counted and will be counted but are these an ongoing area of income for you?  The total amount is not all that great - 

 

Could the money you were paid for "research studies I did from home (mostly for studies/focus groups) on health problems and mental health issues" be considered a clinical trial?  If that is what the money was for then it is exempt.  

 

Is the gift income you received from friends and family going to be an ongoing thing?  It will be counted now but if it is not an ongoing income help, and  it isn"t that much, the adjustment will probably be minimal.

 

Here is some very detailed info on Supplemental Security Income.  The subsection "INCOME" explains what is and is not counted in income, resources and how the adjusted amount is figured for several  different type scenarios.

 

SSA: Understanding Supplemental Security Income ( SSi )

 

if that is the total income for over a year - it is not that much so your check might be adjusted a little,depending upon your answers to the above questions.  Pay attention to everything that needs to be reported.

 

 Just relax and take it one step at a time.  

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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I found this from what is supposed to be a legal definition of a gift.

 

It is the person who gives the gift who is subject to the tax and has to report it to the IRS. The gift that you received is not considered income but could have some gift tax liability for the giver. Because this was a gift, it needs to be reported by the person giving the gift.

 

But -- this is talking about taxes - who knows with the SSI

Bengal
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Honored Social Butterfly


@bw38618336 wrote:

 

 

But -- this is talking about taxes - who knows with the SSI


 

What Pat is referring to is the income which has to be reported to Social Security in order for the SSI benefit to be figured correctly.  SSI comes out of the General Fund and thus eligibility is based on income, resources as well as disability since it is a social safety net program and not like SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), which is an earned benefit insurance program under the Social Security program.  The SSA takes care of SSI. 

 

This income eligibility and reporting has nothing to do with tax reporting.

 

SSA: Understanding Supplemental Security Income - (SSI) - Income Reporting

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Contributor

Hello and thanks for your info and encouragement. I appreciate it!

 

3 of the checks were from my brother for my Christmas and birthday gift and one was to help me with an emergency. A couple others from friends were towards bill payments and no they were a one time thing. 

 

On a couple of the focus groups yes I believe they were considered a clinical trial so I'll keep that in mind. I'll look at the link you provided. Thanks again!

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