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What Isn’t Included As Countable Income for SSI?

When determining an individual’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the applicant’s income plays a significant role. But it’s more complicated than just the sum of a paycheck. The Social Security Administration (SSA) takes into account not only net earnings, royalties and the like, but unearned benefits; food or shelter received for free; and the income of spouses, parents or sponsors with which that individual lives.

There are some forms of income that are not considered countable income for SSI, however. On their website, the Social Security Administration displays this list of services or payments that are not counted toward SSI:

  • The first $20 of most income received in a month
  • The first $65 of earnings and 50% of earnings over $65 received in a month
  • The value of SNAP tokens/food stamps received
  • Income tax refunds
  • Home energy assistance
  • Need-based assistance from the government or an Indian tribe
  • Small amounts of income received irregularly/infrequently
  • Interest/dividends earned on countable resources or resources excluded under other Federal laws
  • Monies such as scholarships or fellowships used for tuition/other educational expenses
  • Food or shelter provided by nonprofit agencies
  • Loans to you (cash or in–kind) that you have to repay
  • Money another individual spends to pay your expenses (excluding food or shelter)
  • Income set aside under a Plan to Achieve Self–Support (PASS)
  • Earnings up to $1,750/month to a maximum of $7,060/year for a student under age 22
  • Impairment–related work expenses for items/services that a disabled person needs in order to work
  • The cost of work expenses that a blind person incurs in order to work
  • Disaster assistance
  • 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
  • Certain exclusions on Indian trust fund payments paid to American Indians who are members of a federally recognized tribe

The above amounts will be deducted from your monthly income when the SSA determines how much SSI you will receive a month. In most cases, the lower your monthly income, the higher your benefit amount will be. But if your countable income is above a certain amount per month, you may not be eligible.

At the law firm of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we have extensive experience guiding people like you through the process of filing for Supplemental Security Income. To schedule a free initial consultation, call toll free: 1.877.526.3457. Or you can click here to fill out our online contact form.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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