Wage reporting & SSA Benefits Brian S. Dennis
Common Mistakes Social Security automatically knows that I’m working DHS is supposed to tell Social Security that I got a job. My employer knows I’m on benefits they’ll tell Social Security I don’t have to report; I’m working part-time. I only had my job for a few weeks; I don’t need to report. If I don’t tell Social Security I’m working they will never find out.
Social Security isn’t all knowing They base decisions on what you tell them. And tell them in a timely manner
Why does it matter? Wages may impact: Cash payments SSDI SSI Health Care Medicaid/Title 19 Access to Work Incentives TWP SEIE PASS Medicaid Buy-In Program Best way to avoid or minimize an overpayment
Overview of Social Security Benefit Programs Title II Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) • Entitlement program based upon insured status • 3 different forms – SSDI, CDB and DWB • Comes with Medicare coverage • Amount of benefit varies • Received on 3rd of month • Income counted when it’s earned. Title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) • Funded by federal tax dollars, not Social Security trust fund • Needs-based program based upon financial eligibility • Comes with Medicaid coverage • Set full benefit amount ($771) • Received on 1st of month • Income counted when it’s received.
Wages and Social Security Benefit Programs Title II Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) • Income counted when it’s earned. • Earnings are based on when you worked; not when you are paid. • Earnings estimates: hourly wage x hours per week x 4.33 • For example: $10/hr x 30 hrs per week x 4.33 = $1,299 gross estimate Title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) • Income counted when it’s received. • Earnings are based on when you actually paid. • For SSI recipients; monthly wages are the total gross of all paychecks received in a calendar month.
Social Security Disability Insurance Three Phases Trial Work Period -- Income over $880 triggers it for 2019. Allows you to work and still receive benefits. 9 months, non consecutive. NEVER jeopardizes cash benefits Extended Period of Eligibility – 36 months. Cash benefit determined by whether you earn above or below Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) – For 2019, $1,220 for non-blind/$2,040 for blind Expedited Reinstatement – 60 months. Work income over SGA results in termination. A contacting SSA reinstates provisional (temporary) benefits.
Wage Reporting and SSDI SSDI are “all or nothing” benefits Paychecks and SSDI Paychecks only SSDI Benefits are paid 1-month behind January Benefits are paid February June Benefits are paid in July December Benefits are Paid in January Utilize a calendar to track daily hours worked Track months for: TWP Grace Period & Cessation Months Submit IRWEs with Wages
Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE) Out of pocket costs needed to work: Medication Costs Medical Services Supported employment services Attendant care services Special transportation Medical support devices Counseling and medication Work equipment Over the counter items Service Animal Expenses Etc.
SSI Benefits Needs-based Paid out of general federal tax dollars Meant to provide enough $ for basic food and shelter Comes with Medicaid/Title 19 FBR Individual: $771 FBR Eligible Couple: $1,157
Wage Reporting and SSI SSI payments are reduced with earned and unearned income Wages impact SSI benefits the least You always have more money by obtaining and maintaining employment Break-even point is $1,627 SSI Benefits are paid for the month they are received Income reduces benefits 2-months later January Income impacts March Benefits December Income impacts February Benefits Track paystubs for SSI calculation Utilize a Calendar to track 12-month ineligible grace period Submit IRWEs with Wages
Income That Impacts SSI Unearned income Gross wages/earnings and net earnings from self-employment, including in-kind items received in lieu of wages (like room and board) In-kind support and maintenance received from others
Unearned Income and SSI Common forms of unearned income would include the following: Social Security Title II benefits (SSDI) Veteran’s benefits Worker’s Compensation Unemployment Insurance Child Support Family Investment Program
How earnings affect SSI payments SSA counts less than half of your earned income SSA does not count the first $20 of any kind (monthly) SSA does not count the first $65 of earned income (monthly) Certain impairment related work expenses can also be deducted from your gross wages.
Calculation of SSI w/earned income only $885Earned Income -20General exclusion $865 -65 Earned Income Exclusion $800 /2 ½ remaining earnings $400 Countable earnings $771.00 Federal Benefit Rate- 2019 -400.0O Countable earnings $371.00 SSI payment + $885 gross income = $1,256.00 Total Gross Income 2-MONTH LAG *MAGIC NUMBER $1,627 per month (for most people)
Reporting Wages Going to the local field office in person. Field offices can be located at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp Some office may have drop boxes Telephone: 1-800-772-1213 (voice) or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) Fax to your local field office 515-284-0375 (DSM) Mail only if you are given envelopes addressed to a specific worker My Social Security online wage reporting tool (*requires an account and only available to individuals receiving SSDI). Can be accessed at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ SSIMobile Wage Reporting App https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXYL1XkC3R4&feature=youtu.be *Not recommended if a person has multiple jobs
Wage Reporting Tips The information provided to Social Security must include: The Social Security number of the wage earner The individual’s name as it appears on their Social Security card The TOTAL monthly amount of gross wages for the wage earner (the amount of pay before taxes and other deductions) Submit any work incentives (IRWE) along with the monthly wages Helpful Tips: Reporting should always be made no later that the 6th of the following month. July wages by August 6th. Submit all monthly wages at one time Make an extra copy of the information submitted to SSA for the individual to retain in his/her records When reporting wages by mail, send the information via Certified Mail When reporting via fax; request documentation is sent regarding the wages being received. Also keep the fax transmittal sheet. Individuals can sign up to receive a monthly e-mail or text message wage reporting reminder by going to https://www.ssa.gov/ssiwagereporting/ Ticket to Work Representatives may also provide monthly reminders to job seekers as a way to support them and remind them to report earned income.
Useful Links How to Report Wages: https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/wage-reporting/index.html SSA Office Locator https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp My SSA Account https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ SSIMobile Wage Reporting App https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXYL1XkC3R4&feature=youtu.be Monthly e-mail or text message reminders: https://www.ssa.gov/ssiwagereporting/
Brian Dennis, M.S., CRC 515-725-3666 Brian.Dennis@iwd.iowa.gov 200 Army Post Road Des Moines, IA 50315