Friday, January 25, 2008

Working while on SSI. What a pain in the ass

This blog entry was inspired by this blog entry.

On the one hand the social security administration wants people to get off SSI and back to work. On the other hand, there are so many hassles and red tape that they make it hard to get to work. Here is the kind of crap I have to deal with

I work a 12 hour a week job at Target stocking the shelves. I have to report my income to the social security administration. They then use that income to determine my SSI payment. My SSI payment is based on my income TWO MONTHS AGO. Sometimes at work we finish early so I end up leaving work at 8am instead of the usual 9am. I also sometimes call in sick to work because of my disability. So if I am getting an SSI payment based on 12 hours a weeks pay, and I end up working fewer hours this month, you do the math. On top of that, if my current SSI payment is greater than it should be based on my current months earning, then I have an overpayment. They then cut back subsequent SSI payments to pay back the overpayment. At my job I get payed every 2 weeks. So sometimes I get 3 paychecks per month. For example. Next month I will get 3 paychecks. But, my last paycheck will be on the LAST day of the month. But, since my SSI payment will not be what it should be, based on that months earning, I will get an overpayment. Currently they are withholding some of my SSI payments due to an overpayment. The overpayment was because I got 3 paychecks that month. So after February I will have my SSI cut back to cover 2 overpayments. I could try and argue with them that I can't afford to pay back the overpayment. But I don't know if I want to bother with the hassles and red tape associated with that.

Given the difficulties I face at my job I have been tempted to quit. But, I can't. If I tell them that I quit my job, will they then pay me my full SSI payment next month? I don't know. But my guess is, probably not. Especially since I have those overpayments. Additionaly, if I do quit. I would probably have to jump through fiery hoops to demonstrate to them that I quit because of my disability.

Some people seem to think that being on SSI is great. It's free money after all. Well let me tell you something, the money isn't free. There are whole lot of hassles and red tape that come along with it. If you can get by without SSI, I would do that.

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