Why do I have to give information about my family’s income and assets when I apply for SSI benefits?

By / Supplemental Security Income / 96 Comments

Learn why Social Security asks about your family’s income when you apply for SSI benefits & see how family income and resources affect SSI eligibility.

The Reason Why

The idea behind deemed income and resources is that SSI law presumes that members of a family unit are financially responsible for one another when they live in the same household. Accordingly, SSA considers or “deems” that a portion of certain family members’ income and assets are available to support the SSI recipient. Similarly, they consider the sponsor of non-citizen immigrant to be responsible for the financial welfare of the person sponsored and deem the sponsor’s income and assets to the sponsored alien applicant. For these reasons, when you apply for SSI benefits, you must provide proofs of your family’s and/or, sponsor’s income and resources so they can be considered in determining whether you meet the financial qualifications for SSI Disability payments.

Deemed Income
Deemed income is the portion of an ineligible spouse’s, an ineligible parent’s or an ineligible step-parent’s, a sponsor’s, or an essential person’s income that is considered or “deemed” to be available to a disabled or aged spouse, disabled child,  disabled or aged sponsored non-citizen, or  person who is receiving an SSI payment increment for an Essential Person. Deemed income is included in calculating whether an individual meets the SSI income requirements.

Deemed Resources

Similarly, deemed resources are the portion of an ineligible spouse’s, ineligible parent’s, ineligible sponsor’s, or essential person’s countable assets (resources) that are considered available for the support of the disabled or aged SSI applicant.

How Deemed Income Is Calculated
To learn how SSA determines the amount of income and resources that will be deemed to you from your spouse, visit our article What are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect SSI Payment Amount and Qualifying for SSI Disability? To see how SSA calculates income and resources deemed from a parent or stepparent to a disabled child, visit our article What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children? Find out about deeming to sponsored non-citizens in our article How Can a Non-citizen Go About Qualifying for SSI Disability? Deeming from an Essential Person is discussed in What Do I Need to Know About Qualifying for SSI Disability with an Essential Person?

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