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Find answers to frequently asked questions.

How much money can a person make and still receive SSI?

If a person is working while applying for SSI and is earning above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit set annually by SSA, they will not be eligible for benefits.

However, SSA has many work incentive programs for SSI beneficiaries to assist their efforts to return to work. These programs exclude some income/resources so that SSI recipients can attempt work, and even earn above SGA, without fear of losing their benefits. We recommend that beneficiaries speak with a work incentives specialist to discuss how work will affects their own benefits. A good place to start to find local resources is SSA's Ticket to Work website.

I received a notice with a patient’s alcohol and drug abuse records that I could not “further disclose” the information. How can I send them on to SSA?

When providers of substance use services (drug and alcohol) release records, they are required to include the following notice from the CFR Title 42:2.32:

“This information has been disclosed to you from records protected by Federal confidentiality rules (42 CFR part 2). The Federal rules prohibit you from making any further disclosure of this information unless further disclosure is expressly permitted by the written consent of the person to whom it pertains or as otherwise permitted by 42 CFR part 2. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information is NOT sufficient for this purpose. The Federal rules restrict any use of the information to criminally investigate or prosecute any alcohol or drug abuse patient.” Source:

However, the law allows the records to be disclosed to any entity the person names in the consent. When you complete the SSA-827: Authorization to Disclose Information to SSA be sure that it specifically mentions the release of drug and alcohol treatment records.