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How can a windfall offset affect my SSI benefits?

Oklahomans who seek and receive Supplemental Security Income might not be aware of certain key rules and regulations related to the benefits, but they can certainly affect them. These rules might seem arcane, but can be problematic if the person does not know about them. One is the windfall offset. People who can receive SSI benefits and Social Security in the same month are not able to receive both in full for that month. This is referred to as windfall offset.

The windfall offset will reduce any Social Security benefits that are awarded retroactively if the person can get both in the same month. The Social Security total will be lowered by the amount of SSI the person would not have gotten if Social Security had been paid at the time they were due. In other words, receiving the Social Security would have lessened the need for SSI since SSI is a program for people whose income falls below certain levels. In general, there is no delay in the Social Security Administration processing a windfall offset. There are certain cases that are more complex and the calculation of the windfall offset can delay any retroactive payments.

There are specific instances when the windfall offset will be applied. They are: if the person is eligible for SSI and Social Security in the same month; if the person is eligible for retroactive Social Security; and if the SSI benefits would have been lower if the Social Security benefits had been paid. The period for windfall offset starts the month the person is eligible for retroactive Social Security and SSI. It ends when the Social Security benefits are paid every month. Those who are only getting SSI are not subject to the windfall offset.

It is vital for people who are getting SSI benefits to understand the regulations set out by the SSA. Failing to do so can cause there to be an issue with any benefits the person is getting or is supposed to get. If there is a problem with anything related to SSI Supplemental Security Income or any matter with Social Security disability, a lawyer can be helpful.

Source: ssa.gov, "SSI Spotlight On Windfall Offset -- 2017 Edition," accessed on Aug. 22, 2017

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