You may have received an email or a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) about your benefits and other forms of notice.
They may have been about changes in your claims and benefits, for instance, your benefit amount and eligibility amendments.
One such notice coming from SSA may be a benefit verification letter.
This letter is also known by many other names: a budget letter, a benefits letter, proof of income letter, an SSI award letter, or proof of award letter. It’s more commonly known as proof of income.
Despite its many monikers, the Social Security proof of income (letter), is your proof of retirement, supplemental income, disability, and other benefits.
As its name suggests, it can be used in applying for loans and housing assistance, among other means to validate your proof of income.
What’s in your Proof of Income?
A Benefit Verification Letter or proof of income indicates a beneficiary’s monthly Social Security Disability and earnings from Supplementary Security Income (SSI).
When you request proof of income from the SSA, you’ll be left with the liberty to choose the pieces of information that are supposed to be included in the letter.
Generally, though, the SSI Award Letter includes the benefit amount, the monthly payment date, back pays, and taxable or non-taxable benefits, among other key information.
Your complete name, date of birth, as well as other personal details, are also reflected in the proof of income document to effectively avoid fraud and unauthorized use.
Apart from these current pieces of information, the Social Security proof of income can also be used to track the payments received from SSA.
In a nutshell, these pieces of information are indicated in your Social Security proof of income document:
- Personal data
- Amount of Benefits
- Monthly payment dates
- Back pay dues and date
- Taxability Of Your Benefits
- The amount you owe (if applicable)
Inversely, a Social Security proof of income can be used to prove that you haven’t been receiving any form of benefit payments from the agency or had received in the past but that is not the case anymore.
Social Security benefits for retirees will see an increase this year, and the beneficiaries may have received a notice through the Social Security proof of income.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
As far as the Social Security Administration (SSA) is concerned, an income refers to any item, in cash or in-kind, that can be used to meet an individual’s need for shelter and food.
It can be grouped into the following categories:
- Earned Income refers to salaries, whether from work or self-employment, including honoraria and royalties.
- Unearned Income covers other receivables such as state- or federal-backed benefits from unemployment, disability, interests, and dividedness, among others.
- In-Kind Income is either food, shelter, or both that’s provided for free or on the cheap.
- Deemed Income refers to a portion of the income of your spouse or partner you co-habit with.
Income classification is important in that it’s used to calculate your SSI benefits. For instance, if you have many of the abovementioned types of income, you’ll receive fewer benefits or may even be disqualified to receive benefits.
Why do you need a Social Security “Proof of Income”?
True to its name, proof of income is typically asked from borrowers and benefit seekers. You can use the document in applying for a loan or other types of benefits such as Medicare, disability, housing, or retirement privileges.
In trying to get a mortgage or any loan type, you’ll be asked by the lender to show a copy of the Social Security proof of income to verify your monthly earnings. If you want to apply for State-assisted programs in housing, your proof of income will prove that you meet the qualifications.
If you haven’t been receiving any type of supplemental income or benefits, you can still request the Benefit Verification Letter, as it can validate your total earnings and calculate the total amount of taxes paid.
It also shows how much you’re going to receive in disability, retirement, or survivor benefits if you choose to apply for these.
How do you get the Social Security “Proof of Income”?
Getting proof of income is easy. You may request online by checking the agency’s website, www.ssa.gov. For faster transactions, you may proceed by logging on or creating your personal account using the said website.
If you prefer to receive a printed letter, you may also contact the agency through various communication channels. Apart from accessing the website, you may call the national number, visit your local office, and get in touch with the Interactive Voice Response system.
You’ll probably need to exercise patience, as it can take up to 3 months or 90 days before receiving your proof of income document.
Proof of income document from the SSA is useful in many ways. It can be used in applying for loans and mortgages or conditional assistance programs.
It can also be used to confirm that you haven’t been receiving benefits, have applied for specific privileges, or have never received Social Security benefits, including Supplemental Security Income.