Understanding Supplemental Security Income SSI Income -- 2015 Edition
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) INCOME
WHAT IS INCOME?
Earned Income is wages, net earnings from self–employment, certain royalties, 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:
the first $20 of most income received in a month;
the first $65 of earnings and one–half of earnings over $65 received in a month;
the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) received;
income tax refunds;
home energy assistance;
assistance based on need funded by a State or local government, or an Indian tribe;
small amounts of income received irregularly or infrequently;
interest or dividends earned on countable resources or resources excluded under other Federal laws;
grants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses;
food or shelter based on need provided by nonprofit agencies;
loans to you (cash or in–kind) that you have to repay;
money someone else spends to pay your expenses for items other than food or shelter (for example, someone pays your telephone or medical bills);
income set aside under a Plan to Achieve Self–Support (PASS). See the SSI Spotlight on Plan to Achieve Self–Support ;
earnings up to $1,780 per month to a maximum of $7,180 per year (effective January 2015) for a student under age 22. See the SSI Spotlight on Student Earned Income Exclusion ;
the 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 ;
the 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 ;
the first $2,000 of compensation received per calendar year for participating in certain clinical trials;
refundable Federal and advanced tax credits received on or after January 1, 2010; and
certain 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.В The remaining amount is your "countable income ".
Step 2: We subtract your "countable income" from the SSI Federal benefit rate.В The result is your monthly SSI Federal benefit as follows:
1)В В Your Total Income
- Your income that we do not count
= Your countable income
2)В В SSI Federal benefit rate
- Your countable income
= Your SSI Federal benefit