What Income is Included for Disability Purposes in SC?


If you have a disability, you may be entitled to an income stipend, if you qualify for it. In order to qualify for disability, you have to meet certain requirements. The first requirement is that you are suffering from a medical injury or illness that will make it impossible for you to work for at least a year. The second requirement is that your injury or illness makes it impossible for you to work at any type of job. Just because you were a lawyer before you became disabled, that doesn’t mean you can’t work in a different career. The third major requirement is that you don’t have income of more than $1,350. Since most people aren’t sure if they meet this last requirement, we suggest that they meet with a South Carolina disability lawyer before they file their initial disability claim.

Even if you meet the first two major requirements, it means nothing if the Social Security administration (SSA) believes that you make too much money to qualify. The income threshold for 2022 is just $1,350. This means that if you have income of more than this amount, your claim will be denied. A lot of our clients assume that, since they aren’t working, they automatically qualify. However, it isn’t quite that simple.

If you’re unclear as to whether you qualify for disability, it’s a good idea to call our office. Sit down with one of our disability attorneys in Greenville. They can help you determine what your income is for disability purposes. If you learn that it is too high, you can either make changes in order to meet the $1,350 threshold or find some other source of assistance.

What is the Monthly Income Limit for Disability Benefits?

Every year, the Social Security Administration determines what the monthly income limit will be for disability recipients. Whether you’re already on disability or are looking to claim benefits, your monthly income must be below this amount, or your claim will be denied. For people receiving benefits, if the SSA determines that they’re earning more then there’s monthly allowance, their benefits could be terminated.

For the year 2022, the allowable monthly income per the Social Security Administration is $1,350. If you have more than this coming in every month, it may not be worth filing a claim. They will reject it if you don’t meet this very strict criterion. Of course, this begs the question of what the SSA considers income for disability purposes.

Wages Are Obviously Included in Your Monthly Income

If you are working, even part-time, this income will obviously be included for disability purposes. You’ll be required to submit a copy of your tax records to show what your income was for the previous year. You will also be asked to submit copies of your last three pay stubs so the SSA can determine what your income has been thus far for the current year. While your South Carolina disability lawyer can help you gather this information, there’s nothing they can do about lowering it. Whatever the documentation shows as earnings is what the SSA is going to accept as your earned income.

There are Other Types of Income the SSA Counts as Well

Most of our clients understand the Social Security Administration is going to include earnings as part of their income. Since most people applying for disability are not working, this isn’t usually an issue. However, the SSA also includes many other types of passive income for purposes of determining disability eligibility.

Some of these include:

  • Any rental income you receive
  • Monthly pension payments
  • Dividends that are paid out on any investments
  • Interest that accrues on your retirement accounts
  • Your spouse’s income
  • Any veterans’ benefits that you receive
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Social Security benefits
  • Any payment received in another form such as free housing or free food

You may be surprised to see certain things on here like veteran’s benefits and your pension. The way the government sees it, if you’re receiving any of these things as income, then you may not need disability benefits. They don’t care that you can’t live on $1,350 per month. The threshold is set so low, it gives them the ability to deny the 65% of the claims that they currently deny in the first phase.

It’s important to understand that the Social Security Administration is also going to include something called “deemed income.” Deemed income is income that people in your household receive. This is included even if they’re not your spouse. Whether you have children living with you or an elderly parent, their earned income and passive income will be partially attributed to you as well. This money is considered part of your income because the SSA assumes that it’s benefiting you in some way.

Sit Down with an Experienced South Carolina Disability Lawyer Right Away

If you want to apply for disability benefits in South Carolina but aren’t sure if you meet the income requirements, you should contact our office right away. We understand that the process for obtaining disability benefits can be confusing. Some of our clients have spent months just trying to get their paperwork right. Unfortunately, since more than 65% of the initial claims are denied by the Social Security Administration, it sometimes feels like it’s not worth the effort. The work and planning that goes into applying for disability benefits can take time and resources that you just don’t have. That’s why we suggest you meet with one of our South Carolina disability lawyers right away. Not only can they help you determine if you meet the income requirements for disability, but they can also help you prepare your initial disability claim.

Rather than submit your initial claim and have it denied, we suggest that you sit down and speak with one of our disability attorneys in Greenville before you file anything. Since you only get that one chance to make a good first impression, you want to wait until your information is perfect before you submit it to the SSA. Our attorneys can help you do that. We recommend that you contact our office today so you can schedule your free, initial consultation.