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Understanding the SSI windfall offset-Part I

As many New Jersey residents may know, there are certain circumstances under which the Social Security Administration may make adjustments to a recipient's Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income. One such provision under which the SSA can make adjustments is the Windfall Elimination Provision which was discussed in detail in earlier blog posts.

Another example of where the SSA makes adjustments is the SSI windfall offset. According to the rules, the SSA will not pay the combined amount of Social Security benefits and SSI if the recipient is eligible for both retroactive SSI and Social Security benefits for the same month. This rule means the SSA will reduce retroactive Social Security benefits by the amount of SSI that the recipient would not have been eligible to receive if the SSA had paid Social Security benefits on time.

In other words, the windfall offset is applicable to those cases when a recipient is eligible for both SSI benefits and Social Security benefits in the same month, when the recipient is eligible for retroactive Social Security benefits and when the recipient's earned SSI benefits would have been less if the SSA had made Social Security payments at time they were due.

It is important for New Jersey residents to know that most cases of windfall offset are imposed. However, there are certain situations when calculations can be complex and in those cases, there may be certain delays in receiving retroactive payments.

The next blog post will discuss the time period for the offset and identify those benefits that may be subjected to the windfall offset. It is also important to remember that dealings with the SSA can often become complicated and therefore, recipients and applicants may benefit to a great extent if they are assisted by an experienced Social Security attorney.

Source: Social Security Administration, "SSI Spotlight on Windfall Offset -- 2015 Edition," Accessed on July 16, 2015

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