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Social Security: Social Security supports small businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing small businesses. Running a small business can be a 24-7 endeavor. Managing employees, inventory, scheduling, services and marketing can be challenging even in normal times.

If you’re a small business owner, or you work for one, our online suite of services can help make your life easier. Our business services allow you to file W-2/W-2Cs online and verify your employees’ names and Social Security numbers against our records.

Our online services at www.ssa.gov/employer will save you valuable time when you need information on filing electronic W-2s and verifying Social Security numbers.

Small business owners can also take advantage of our Business Services Online at www.ssa.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm. You must register to use this free service, which also offers fast and secure online W-2 filing options to Certified Public Accountants, enrolled agents and individuals who process W-2s and W-2Cs.

For more information about electronic wage reporting, please read our publication at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10034.pdf.

Supplemental Security Income Q&A:

Q: I know you need to have limited resources to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what is considered a resource?

A: Resources are things you own that you can use for support. They include cash, real estate, personal belongings, bank accounts, stocks and bonds. To be eligible for SSI a person must have no more than $2,000 in countable resources. A married couple must have no more than $3,000 in countable resources. If you own resources over the SSI limit, you may be able to get SSI benefits while trying to sell the resources. Not all of your resources count toward the SSI resource limit. For example:

• The home you live in and the land it's on do not count.

• Your personal effects and household goods do not count.

• Life insurance policies may not count, depending on their value.

• Your car usually does not count.

• Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family do not count.

• Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse may not count.

• If you are blind or have a disability, some items may not count if you plan to use them to work or earn extra income.

You may also wish to read our material on "resources" in the booklet, Understanding SSI at www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm.

Q: I’m 38 years old and have been approved to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. I was surprised to learn that my payment will be reduced because I live with my mom. Why’s that?

A: SSI is a needs-based program, so any other income you receive — including non-monetary income such as help with your bills or other expenses — can have an effect on your benefit payment. Your SSI payments may be reduced if you are receiving food, shelter or monetary assistance. If you move, or if the situation in your mom’s household changes, be sure to contact Social Security. For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/ssi.

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 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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