Why do I have to give information about my family’s income and assets when I apply for SSI benefits?
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
When you apply for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration requests information about your family’s and certain other people’s income and assets. They do this because part of their income and resources may be considered available to you and may factor in determining whether you meet the financial qualifications for SSI Disability payments.
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 an SSI-eligible spouse, SSI-eligible child, SSI-eligible sponsored non-citizen, or SSI-eligible individual who is receiving a payment increment for an Essential Person. Deemed income is included in calculating whether an individual meets the SSI income requirements.
Deemed resources is the portion of an ineligible spouse’s, an ineligible parent’s, an ineligible step-parent’s, a sponsor’s, or an essential person’s assets that are deemed available to the SSI-eligible individual. Deemed resources are included in calculating whether an individual’s resources are below the SSI resource limit.
The Idea Behind Deemed Income and Resources
SSI law presumes that members of a family unit are financially responsible for one another when they live in the same household. Accordingly, they consider or “deem” that a portion of certain family members’ income and assets are available to 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.
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 to an SSI-eligible 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 noncitizens in our article How Can a Noncitizen 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?