Change SSI Regulations to Reclassify Royalities from Unearned Income to Earned Income
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As an SSI disability recipient, whose spouse is Self-Employed (1099, Schedule-C, contractor, etc.), I was recently notified that her income was going to be further classified in how it affect's what I draw monthly. In particular, any income she receives from royalties (money a company pays to use your work/idea, on a per-item sales basis) would not be counted as Self-Employment, but rather as Unearned income (money paid to you for non-work. e.g., gambling, gifts, prizes, etc.). With this classification, they only count the gross (money paid to you, without deducting for expenses, taxes, and fees), for the time frame you received payment (e.g. you got paid in April for Jan.-Mar., but they only count it for April, as a lump sum), and do not allow business expenses for write-offs (operating costs, fees, supplies, etc.).
In short, they feel that if you are disabled, but your spouse does work that generate royalties, you do not need any help consistently, and that whatever the amount might be that your spouse makes, it must "magically" be enough to live on, without your SSI benefits contributing to the operating of your household.This is even true if the income, in whatever form it comes in, is far below the Federal Poverty Line for One Person, much less a couple. Give me a break!
Some people might be able to weather such classification regulations, with nominal repercussions, but as a family of two (disable man, partial disabled, small business woman) such as myself and my wife, this jeopardizes our ability to have our own place to live, food on the table, utilities (electricity, water, phone, etc.), and the basics of American life. This legislation/regulation needs to be changed, for several reasons.
First of all, claiming a person is not working or earning their pay/income for expending time and labor to create an idea, concept, or product for commercial purposes, license that to a third party is ludicrous and insulting. Such a concept in our intellectual protection laws, such as copyright and patents, disprove the basis of this argument. Secondly, to take the stance that making that income did not have inherent costs is foolhardy, and so the gross should just be considered, does not reflect the operating procedures and expenses of operating a business at any level. Thirdly, if the royalty income is for a quarterly time period (three months), it is immoral and wrong to say that should be calculated for one month alone, and that it should be used to benchmark whether you draw any money at all for said month (especially since many of one's bills are monthly, not quarterly).
In a world, where people's independence, livelihood, and the ability to have a roof over one's head is greatly challenged around the world, we need to stand against this injustice, and tell our elected representatives that this type of regulation encourages people to not to want to work, to throw in the towel, irrespective of health, ability, education, and opportunity, as the laws make it too hard to be honest, productive citizens. I am thankful that we have assistance programs at all, as prior generations had no safety net, at all, but we can do better. Thank you for your time!
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