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Social Security To Help Disabled

December 30, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Some disabled workers and low-income students will get increased benefits under new Social Security Administration rules that take effect Monday.

The earnings limit for Social Security disability beneficiaries will be adjusted annually based on increases in the national average wage index. The current limit of $700 per month that a beneficiary can earn and still receive benefits will increase to $740 a month.

Another rule change should allow disability beneficiaries to remain eligible longer in Social Security’s work incentive program.

The program allows disability beneficiaries to earn full benefits while testing their ability to work for nine months. Earnings of $200 a month now count as a trial work month. But that will increase to $530 a month. Annual increases are permitted.

Also, new changes will expand supplemental security income eligibility for low-income students under age 22 who work.

Now, $1,620 a year or $400 a month is not counted in determining eligibility. The income exclusion will increase to $1,290 monthly and $5,200 yearly.

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