Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Working while receiving SSI benefits

I had my son apply last week for SSI but he is determined that he is able to work and has since gotten a job at a pizza place. Is this going to affect his chances of being approved for SSI since the whole reason for applying is that his SZ interfering with his ability to work? If not, how much is he able to earn and receive benefits? I’m not sure if he will actually be able to hold the job but if he is then I guess he doesn’t really need the SSI anyway.

My son receives about $585 a month, your son may not qualify if he has the ability to work, but like you said that could change. Living with SZ and depending on how well he manages it will determine his success with being gainfully employed, best of luck!

2 Likes

The amount they make and the number of hours they work can affect their ssi status. My son works about 5 hours a week on a good week, some weeks he can’t work at all. He makes about $150. a month. If he was able to make more than that, the amount of money he receives from SNAP will go down. If a person is just on ssdi (disability) they can earn more a month.

Anecdotally, a mom at a local support group said her daughter lost ssi and medicaid because her daughter’s employer kept holding her over for extra hours when other employees failed to show up for work. Her daughter was required to report income and hours every month to the local social security office - they might use an app these days to report income and hours, it can vary from state to state.

When my son first started working he was required to go to the local social security office each month to report income and hours. After a couple of months, they told him he didn’t need to do it anymore. I do his income taxes for him, whenever there is a question about how much he has earned, his tax records seem to be the final voice in the matter. My advice - make sure they file income tax.

1 Like

Social Security gets the W-2 forms before the tax returns are sent in. Some time in mid year, IRS and SSA compare notes but its mostly for IRS’ benefit. My son hasn’t worked or filed a tax return in more than 10 years but the Rep Payee Report shows that as well. :palm_tree:

1 Like

Thanks for the responses! Ideally if he can work and not need the benefits that is best but this is, I believe the 10th job he’s had in the past year. Most were only for a few weeks or just days however this time may be different because he seems to be stabilizing on medication. I hope he is able to work because even though he is improving on meds I could tell he was getting depressed due to boredom and not knowing what to do with himself. Before he was very social but has since lost all of his friends except for his girlfriend so he needs an outlet. I just hope he doesn’t jeopardize getting benefits if it doesn’t work out.

I actually did a spreadsheet of all of my son’s jobs/attempts at working and showed the name and address of the company, number of hours per day/how long he worked there/how much per hour he was being paid/etc. If a wage earner, Social Security already had that as I said earlier but with the spreadsheet, they were able to see attempts and patterns. And keep in mind that once one of parents starts drawing Social Security, the child HAS to switch from SSI to SSA. If not a timely “switchover”, SSA recalculates any moneys due the recipient and typically pays a lump sum for any difference. I was also told that if I “charged” my son $200 a month for room and board, he could get more than the basic amount. I have no problem with that but still have to use that “room and board” money towards his expenses just because he is such a heavy smoker on even the cheapest brand. The problem is that he doesn’t care about learning to manage his own money skills - at least he no longer does - no matter how much I talk and talk and talk to him about it. :palm_tree:

1 Like

@Cat_Nip At Family to Family they said my son’s long history of attempts at working was a part of showing Social Security he was unable to work. My son gets a good deal of satisfaction out of working, its very good for his self esteem.

@Pookey52 Doesn’t the parental SSA amount only come into play for “children” who were diagnosed under a certain age? My son wasn’t diagnosed until his early 30’s, he had to file for disability off his own sketchy work history. My son is self employed, there aren’t any W-2s for him these days. Filing income tax is very easy - we don’t claim my son as a dependent and never have since he was a child.

1 Like

I had to dig back into my records and found something around the age of 22 although my son was (I think) in his 30s when he was switched from SSI to SSA. It was a short statement from his doctor but that dated letter was all I still needed to get his SSA under his Dad. Since we’re divorced, I had no clue that my ex was drawing SSA. If you have anything older - an EOB, letter from a doctor, etc., I’d certainly try it even if it was before a formal diagnosis - if not, you’re probably right.

1 Like

I still claim my son who is 41 as a dependent because the income (SSA) that he has doesn’t go towards his “support”. It mostly goes towards cigs and soft drinks. And in the generic sense, that’s the way the law reads for someone who is disabled. Although $200 is allotted to room and board, I then have to turn around and use it for other expenses. On top of that, I still carry him on my insurance’s family plan for health and dental, pay drug copays, shoes and clothes, etc, etc. Not to mention that he doesn’t drive and I’m his sole source of transportation. It all adds up and is such a pain to keep track of.

1 Like

Good to know that you can submit other things besides a formal diagnosis to support a diagnosis at a younger age. Yeah,that would not have been a route for us, mine was still doing well when he was under 18, he graduated from college and really wasn’t totally disabled until much later.

1 Like

His diagnoses grew/changed as he did. It began with ADHD then ADHD with ODD, Bipolar, Bipolar/Schizoaffective, and finally Schizophrenia. So, I had a lengthy trail since the age of 9 and by the age of 26, he had his first admission to the state mental hospital. Man, what I’d give for all those years back - but healthy! His last admission was in 2016 and tho he’s not been fully stable, I have learned a lot as he often continues to degrade. :palm_tree:

2 Likes

To many rules. My grandson was denied SSN probably a good thing in his case. He now works full-time and has a wonderful job. Before that he laid around all the time. Very hard to get social securityeven with schizophrenia. Even his doctors said he was permanently disable does not matter. Sorry disease is hard. Only thing that got his life back was Clozapine

1 Like

@lindaS
Yes, I agree. If they are able to work it is definitely best for them! So happy your grandson is doing good!

@Pookey52 So sorry your son struggles so. How long was he on Clozapine before it was determined that it wouldn’t work for him? My heart really breaks for him (and for you). It’s so unfair! I will keep you and your son (and all of us dealing with this terrible illness) in my prayers!

Over a year on Clozapine - I think about a year and seven or eight months. Right now, we’ve increased his Geodon and he seems to have leveled out…for now at least. However, the maniacal laughter than began with Clozapine still continues almost three years later. :palm_tree:

1 Like

Social Security has a booklet on working while receiving, SSI, SSD. see if they can send you a copy…

2 Likes