Social Security information for people living with disabilities
New Jersey 2015 SSI Payments
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 COLA is 1.7%. The SSI federal benefit rate for an individual is increasing to $733 and the SSI federal benefit rate for an eligible couple is increasing to $1100.00.
There are no changes to New Jersey’s optional state supplement payments. The payments remain the same as in 2014 for each living arrangement category.
Click here to view the 2015 New Jersey Supplemental Security Income Payment chart.
My Social Security - Access your Social Security account online
Your personal online my Social Security account is a valuable source of information beginning in your working years and continuing throughout the time you receive Social Security benefits.
If you receive benefits or have Medicare, you can:
Use a my Social Security online account to:
• Get your benefit verification letter;
• Check your benefit and payment information and your earnings record;
• Change your address and phone number; and
• Start or change direct deposit of your benefit payment.
If you do not receive benefits, you can:
Use a my Social Security online account to:
•Get your Social Security Statement, to review:
◦ Estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
◦ Your earnings record; and
◦ The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid.
• Get a benefit verification letter stating that:
◦ You never received Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare; or
◦ You received benefits in the past, but do not currently receive them (The letter will include the date your benefits stopped and how much you received that year.); or
◦ You applied for benefits but haven’t received an answer yet.
How do I create a my Social Security Online account?
To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give us answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. Next, you create a username and password that you will use to access your online account. This process protects you and keeps your personal Social Security information private.
To create an account and for more information, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/
Apply online for disability benefits: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi/apply.html
Disability benefit planning tool: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/dibplan/
Benefits for children with disabilities brochure | Click here to view or download
SS disability fact sheet | Click here to view or download
Working while receiving disability benefits:
This program allows people with permanent disabilities to earn as much as $55,000 annually and still be fully eligible for Medicaid health insurance. You can also have up to $20,000 in personal assets, such as in a bank account, and still qualify.
NJ WorkAbility is a new program that lets you earn more than ever before- expanding eligibility so you can get or maintain the valuable health benefits that Medicaid provides. Coverage includes medications, durable medical equipment, outpatient counseling, medical transportation, personal care services, and all other medical and healthcare services.
For more information, call 1-800-285-3036 between 9am and 5 pm Monday-Friday. Or visit www.njworkability.nj.gov.
Social Security Ticket to Work program
The goals of the Ticket to Work Program are to:
- Offer beneficiaries with disabilities expanded choices when seeking service and supports to enter, re-enter, and/or maintain employment;
- Increase the financial independence and self-sufficiency of beneficiaries with disabilities; and
- Reduce and, whenever possible, eliminate reliance on disability benefits.
The beneficiary does not need a paper Ticket to participate. Under this program, eligible beneficiaries with disabilities who are receiving monthly cash benefit payments are entitled to participate by signing up with an approved service provider of their choice. This can be an Employment Network (EN) or a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The EN/State VR agency, if they accept the Ticket assignment, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment. These services may be training, career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, job placement, and ongoing support services necessary to achieve a work goal.
For more information, visit the Ticket To Work website.
The Red Book- The Social Security Guide to Work Incentives
The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.
Social Security and home ownership:
Is a primary residence considered an asset by Medicaid?
The following are Resources or Assets that we may not count for SSI (if a person is eligible for SSI in NJ they are generally automatically eligible for NJ Medicaid):
For SSI, we do not count:
- the home you live in and the land it is on;
- household goods and personal effects (e.g., your wedding and engagement rings);
- burial spaces for you or your immediate family;
- burial funds for you and your spouse, each valued at $1,500 or less (See the SSI Spotlight on Burial Funds);
- life insurance policies with a combined face value of $1,500 or less;
- one vehicle, regardless of value, if it is used for transportation for you or a member of your household;
- retroactive SSI or Social Security benefits for up to nine months after you receive them (including payments received in installments);
- grants, scholarships, fellowships, or gifts set aside to pay educational expenses for 9 months after receipt.
- property essential to self–support (See the SSI Spotlight on Property You Need for Self–Support);
- resources that a blind or disabled person needs for an approved plan for achieving self–support (PASS) (See the SSI Spotlight on Plans to Achieve Self–Support );
- money saved in an Individual Development Account (IDA) (See the SSI Spotlight on Individual Development Accounts);
- support and maintenance assistance and home energy assistance that we do not count as income;
cash received for medical or social services that we do not count as income is not a resource for 1 month; (EXCEPTION:Cash reimbursements of expenses already paid for by the person are evaluated under the regular income and resources rules.)
- health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs);
- State or local relocation assistance payments are not counted for 12 months;
- crime victim's assistance is not counted for 9 months;
- earned income tax credit payments are not counted for 9 months;
- dedicated accounts for disabled or blind children;
- disaster relief assistance, which we do not count as income;
- cash received for the purpose of replacing an excluded resource (for example, a house) that - is lost, damaged, or stolen is not counter for 9 months;
- All Federal tax refunds and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010 are not counted for 12 months;
- The first $2,000 of compensation received per calendar year for participating in certain clinical trials and
- Some trusts (See the SSI Spotlight on Trusts).
What happens if I give away or sell a resource?
If you, your spouse, or a co–owner give away a resource or sell it for less than it is worth, you may be ineligible for SSI benefits for up to 36 months. How long you are ineligible for SSI benefits depends on the value of the resource you transferred.
SSI Wage Reporting for your clients
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program for people who are disabled, blind or aged. The amount an eligible person can receive is based on his or her income. You can help us make timely and accurate payments to people who get SSI and work in sheltered workshops by participating in our monthly wage reporting. Sheltered workshop employers can submit monthly earnings reports in many ways. The most efficient way for sheltered workshops to submit monthly earnings reports is in an electronic file via Government to Government Services Online (GSO).
When you should report wages:
Each month, we need verification of income for people who work and receive SSI. To make accurate payments, we need the report no later than the 5th day of the prior month. For example, we must receive all pay information for June no later than July, 5th.
Social Security has created an easy way for your organization to securely send us the wage reports at the beginning of each month. Sending us a simple file with wage data for working recipients in your workshop will benefit everyone involved.
How do I report these wages:
Simply go to Government to Government Services Online (GSO) and log in with your (previously issued) User ID and Password. Upload your wage reports for May and you are all done.
Reporting your client wages helps us pay them the correct amount of SSI benefits and may prevent them from being overpaid or allow us to pay them more SSI.
What must you report to Social Security?
If you need additional information regarding Government to Government Services Online (GSO) (or any other aspect of this initiative), please contact
District Manager – Trenton, NJ
Social Security Administration