How Gifts and Loans Impact Your Benefits
Getting approved to receive Social Security Income (SSI) is a victory, as it often requires a long waiting period, a thorough review, and complex paperwork. But did you know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) can reduce your SSI payments if you receive money from friends or relatives to help you pay your bills?
At Henson Fuerst, our Social Security Disability lawyers in North Carolina know how the SSA may cut your benefits if you receive monetary gifts, and we can help you protect the money that you deserve. Don’t let the SSA take your benefits when you’re struggling to make ends meet—call our law firm at (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free initial consultation form.
Protecting Your Money
When you receive money or other benefits, it may be considered a “gift,” which can result in the SSA deducting up to $230 per month from your SSI payments. This deduction also may apply if you accept food and/or shelter from anyone who isn’t your spouse. However, you may be able to avoid this deduction by only accepting money in the form of a loan.
If you decide to receive money in the form of a loan, make sure you:
- Get it in writing.
Create a binding and notarized legal contract that specifies you’re receiving a loan. Make sure both you and your lender sign the document.
- Notify the SSA.
Tell the SSA about your loan and all its details, such as the amount you’re accepting, your plan for paying it back, and when the loan is due to be paid in full.
- Inform the person who loaned you the money.
The SSA may contact your friend or family member about the loan. To ensure that you continue receiving benefits, it’s important that he or she supports your statement about the money being a loan rather than a gift.
The Social Security Disability lawyers at Henson Fuerst know that creating a binding legal contract for a loan may be difficult to do on your own. Not only can we assist you with this, but we also can help you if the SSA questions your loan. Be confident in your benefits and your money—contact us today.
Working While Collecting SSD
If you become disabled, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can help provide for your daily needs. But the money you receive from SSD may not be enough to pay all of your bills or save for the future. You may want to get another full-time or part-time job, but you’re unsure if you can continue receiving benefits.
The Henson Fuerst Social Security Disability lawyers in North Carolina know SSD laws, and we can help you determine if your job and wages allow you to continue receiving SSD benefits. Don’t risk losing the benefits you deserve—call our law firm at (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free initial consultation form today.
How Much Money Are You Allowed to Earn?
North Carolina law says that anyone receiving SSD benefits is eligible to work a full-time or part-time job. However, to avoid jeopardizing your benefits, there are certain rules and regulations to be aware of, such as:
- Trial Work Period
You may earn up to $720 per month while receiving SSD benefits with no penalty. If your earnings exceed this level, you begin a trial work period for a period of nine months. And if your earnings exceed $720 after nine months, you may lose your SSD payments.
- Extended Eligibility
If you continue to work and lose your SSD payments, you may still retain your status as disabled. This extended eligibility period lasts for 36 months beyond the trial work period as long as you earn less than $1,000 per month.
- Expedited Reinstatement
If your SSD payments or benefits stop because your wages are too high—but you later become too disabled to work—you have five years to ask the Social Security Administration to restart your benefits.
Navigating the SSD system can be difficult, especially when you want to work. Our law firm can guide you through this process step by step.
Let Us Help You
If you have questions about your work status or your SSD eligibility, our North Carolina Social Security lawyers can help. The legal staff at Henson Fuerst is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call today at (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free consultation form online.