What's The Income Requirement for Supplemental Security Income? 

To qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits, you need to have a disability that keeps you from working. You also have to be living on little income and resources. Unfortunately, you need to live on next to nothing to qualify for this program. 

What Counts As Income to Social Security?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to know about your income if you want SSI assistance. The term "income" includes:

  • Earned income (wages, self-employment earnings, royalties, etc.)
  • Unearned income (other Social Security benefits, pensions, State disability payments, unemployment benefits, etc.)
  • In-kind income (food or shelter you get for less than its fair market value or for free)
  • Deemed income (income of your spouse or parents whom you live with, or your sponsor if you are a noncitizen)

What Does Not Count as Income?

The following items do not count as income:

  • 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
  • Income tax refunds
  • Value of food stamps
  • Home energy assistance
  • Need-based assistance funded by a state or local government
  • Small amounts of income you receive irregularly or infrequently
  • Interest or dividends earned as countable resources
  • Food or shelter based on need and provided by nonprofit agencies
  • Loans that you have to repay
  • Disaster assistance
  • For students under age 22, earnings up to $1,640 per month up to the maximum $6,600 per year
  • ...And other types of monetary assistance

Once they determine your countable income, the Social Security Administration deducts that amount from the federal standard benefit rate. For 2017, the standard benefit rate is $735.

How Do I Calculate My Benefit Monthly Check?

Consider the following example to estimate your monthly benefit check. A person's gross wages for the month are $400. According to the SSA's calculation rules, the math would look something like this: 

$400 -$20 (since the first $20 is not counted)

= $380

$380-$65 (since the next $65 is not counted)

= $315
$315 / 2

= $157.50. This is your countable income.

Now, you have to subtract your countable income from the federal benefit rate.


= $516.50. This is the amount you will see on your benefits check.

If you have questions about what counts as income and how your benefits are calculated, contact the Coye Law Firm to discuss your claim. 


Call 407.648.4940 or contact Coye Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

The expert disability attorneys at Coye Law Firm are experienced with Florida, New York, Michigan, and District of Columbia law and are here to help the disabled.

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