Q: Can I receive Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits at the same time?
Answer: You may be able to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits if your Social Security benefit is low enough for you to qualify for SSI. Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own). If you have low income and few resources, you may be able to supplement your Social Security benefit with an SSI payment. You can find out more about SSI by going to www.socialsecurity.gov and selecting the "SSI" tab at the top of the page.
Q: I worked the first half of the year, but plan to retire this month. Will Social Security count the amount I earn for this year when I retire?
Answer: Yes. If you retire mid-year, we count your earnings for the entire year. We have a special "earnings test" rule we apply to annual earnings, usually in the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you get a full payment for any whole month we consider you retired regardless of your yearly earnings. We consider you retired during any month your earnings are $1,260 or less, or if you have not performed substantial services in self-employment. We do not consider income earned, beginning with the month you reach full retirement age. Learn more about the earnings test rule at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/rule.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213. For more information, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov.