SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) INCOME


WHAT IS INCOME?


Earned Income is wages, net earnings from self–employment, certain royalties and honoraria, and sheltered workshop payments.

Unearned Income is all income that is not earned, such as Social Security benefits, pensions, State disability payments, unemployment benefits, interest income, and cash from friends and relatives.

In–Kind Income is food or shelter that you get for free or less than its fair market value.

Deemed Income is the part of the income of your spouse with whom you live, your parent(s) with whom you live, or your sponsor (if you are an alien), which we use to compute your SSI benefit amount.


WHY IS INCOME IMPORTANT IN THE SSI PROGRAM?


Generally, the more countable income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your countable income is over the allowable limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits. Some of your income may not count as income for the SSI program.


WHAT INCOME DOES NOT COUNT FOR SSI?


Examples of payments or services we do not count as income for the SSI program include but are not limited to:

    small blue and black arrowthe first $20 of most income received in a month;

    small blue and black arrowthe first $65 of earnings and one–half of earnings over $65 received in a month;

    small blue and black arrowthe value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) received;

    small blue and black arrowincome tax refunds;

    small blue and black arrowhome energy assistance;

    small blue and black arrowassistance based on need funded by a State or local government, or an Indian tribe;

    small blue and black arrowsmall amounts of income received irregularly or infrequently;

    small blue and black arrowinterest or dividends earned on countable resources or resources excluded under other Federal laws;

    small blue and black arrowgrants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses;

    small blue and black arrowfood or shelter based on need provided by nonprofit agencies;

    small blue and black arrowloans to you (cash or in–kind) that you have to repay;

    small blue and black arrowmoney someone else spends to pay your expenses for items other than food or shelter (for example, someone pays your telephone or medical bills);

    small blue and black arrowincome set aside under a Plan to Achieve Self–Support (PASS). See the SSI Spotlight on Plan to Achieve Self–Support;

    small blue and black arrowearnings up to $1,750 per month to a maximum of $7,060 per year (effective January 2014) for a student under age 22. See the SSI Spotlight on Student Earned Income Exclusion;

    small blue and black arrowthe cost of impairment–related work expenses for items or services that a disabled person needs in order to work. See the SSI Spotlight on Impairment–Related Work Expenses;

    small blue and black arrowthe cost of work expenses that a blind person incurs in order to work. See the SSI Spotlight on Special SSI Rule for Blind People Who Work;

    small blue and black arrowdisaster assistance;

    small blue and black arrowthe first $2,000 of compensation received per calendar year for participating in certain clinical trials;

    small blue and black arrowRefundable Federal and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010; and

    small blue and black arrowcertain exclusions on Indian trust fund payments paid to American Indians who are members of a federally recognized tribe.

HOW DOES YOUR INCOME AFFECT YOUR SSI BENEFIT?

Step 1: We subtract any income that we do not count from your total gross income.  The remaining amount is your "countable income".

Step 2: We subtract your "countable income" from the SSI Federal benefit rate.  The result is your monthly SSI Federal benefit as follows:

1)   Your Total Income
- Your income that we do not count
= Your countable income

2)   SSI Federal benefit rate
- Your countable income
= Your SSI Federal benefit


THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES ARE BASED ON SAMPLE DOLLAR AMOUNTS:

EXAMPLE A – SSI Federal Benefit with only UNEARNED INCOME


Total monthly income = $300 (Social Security benefit)

1)     $300  (Social Security benefit)
            -20  (Not counted)
      =$280  (Countable income)

2)    $721  (SSI Federal benefit rate)
        -280  (Countable income)
     =$441  (SSI Federal benefit)

EXAMPLE B – SSI Federal Benefit with only EARNED INCOMEblank spacer


Total monthly income = $317 (Gross wages)

1)  $317  (Gross wages)
    blank spacer   -20   (Not counted)
     $297
    blank spacer   -65   (Not counted)
  =$232   divided by 1/2 =$116   (Countable income)

2)  $721  (SSI Federal benefit rate)
     blank spacer -116  (Countable income)
  blank spacer=$605  (SSI Federal benefit)

EXAMPLE C – SSI Federal Benefit and STATE SUPPLEMENT with only UNEARNED INCOME


The facts are the same as example A, but with federally administered State supplementation.

1)  $300  (Social Security benefit)
         -20  (Not counted)
  blank spacer=$280  (Countable income)

2)  $721  (SSI Federal benefit rate)
    blank spacer  -280  (Countable Income)
  blank spacer=$441  (SSI Federal benefit)

3)  $441  (SSI Federal benefit)
        +15  (State supplement payment for an individual living alone)
  blank spacer=$456  (Total Federal and State SSI benefit)


EXAMPLE D – SSI Federal Benefit and STATE SUPPLEMENT with only EARNED INCOME


Total monthly income = $317 (Gross wages)

1)  $317  (Gross wages)
    blank spacer   -20   (Not counted)
     $297
    blank spacer   -65   (Not counted)
     $232   divided by 1/2 =$116   (Countable income)

2)  $721  (SSI Federal benefit rate)
    blank spacer  -116  (Countable Income)
  blank spacer=$605  (SSI Federal benefit)

3)  $605  (SSI Federal benefit)
        +15  (State supplement payment for an individual living alone)
  blank spacer=$620  (Total Federal and State SSI benefit)

blank spacer
NOTE:
For information on how your living arrangement affects your SSI benefit, see our chapter on LIVING ARRANGEMENTS .

HOW WILL WINDFALL OFFSET AFFECT MY BENEFIT?


    small blue ballWindfall offset occurs when we reduce your retroactive Social Security benefits if you are eligible for Social Security and SSI benefits for the same months.

    small blue ballWe reduce your Social Security benefits by the amount of SSI you would not have received if we had paid you Social Security benefits when they were due.

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NOTE:
For information, see the SSI Spotlight on Windfall Offset

WHEN DOES DEEMED INCOME APPLY?


    small blue ballWhen a person who is eligible for SSI benefits lives with a spouse who is not eligible for SSI benefits, we may count some of the spouse's income in determining the SSI benefit.

    small blue ballWhen a disabled or blind child under age 18 lives with parent(s), (or a parent and a stepparent), and at least one parent does not receive SSI benefits, we may count some of the parents' income in figuring the child's SSI benefit.

    small blue ballWhen an alien has a sponsor, with certain exceptions, we count some or all of the sponsor's income in figuring the SSI benefit.

WHEN DOES DEEMED INCOME NOT APPLY?

    small blue ballWhen you no longer live with a spouse or parent.

    small blue ballWhen a disabled or blind child attains age 18.

    small blue ball When an alien's sponsorship ends.

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NOTE:
See our chapters on SSI RESOURCES and SSI FOR CHILDREN for more information. Also see our SSI Spotlight on Deeming Parental Income and Resources.

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