Social security recipients, including those getting disability benefits, will receive modest 1.5 percent increases in monthly benefit checks for cost-of-living increases in 2014. Notably, those receiving Social Security disability in Pennsylvania and nationwide can also supplement their income by working as long as they do not work at a “substantial” level, i.e., earning more than $1070 monthly in 2014. Additionally, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) basic payment for one person increases from $710 to $721 in 2014. SSI is not considered a Social Security benefit even though it is administered by the SSA.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides stipends to low-income people who are aged, blind, or disabled. It is funded from the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust fund. SSI was created in 1974 to replace certain state and federal programs that provided the same assistance. The idea was to get them under the uniform control of the federal government.
Thus, SSI was created to eliminate the differences in qualifications for benefits between the states and unify those programs into one overall category. In order to be eligible to receive SSI benefits, individuals must prove that they are 65 or older, or blind or disabled, and their income and resources are limited within certain parameters. The person must prove that he is aged, disabled or blind.
Being disabled under SSI is based on the SSA’s same standards for SSDI benefits. This means generally being unable to perform any substantial gainful employment due to a physical or mental impairment lasting or expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months. The impairment must be so severe that the individual cannot do his previous work and cannot engage in any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.
There is an additional definition of disability for SSI purposes for minors under the age of 18. This is based generally on impairments that create “marked or severe” functional limitations. The limits of what the individual may earn are specially computed and are available through the SSA office or online services. Supplemental Security Income is a modest payment to help certain people in Pennsylvania and nationwide who have very limited incomes.
Source: senior-spectrum.com, What’s Changed for the New Year? Social Security Update for 2014, Tom Margenau, Dec. 31, 2013