Is any of my income excluded from deeming when my spouse or child is qualifying for SSI benefits?

By / Supplemental Security Income / 70 Comments

Learn which kinds of income are excluded from deeming when qualifying for SSI disability as a citizen adult, a citizen child or a sponsored alien.

Legally Mandated Exclusions That Apply to All Deeming
As discussed in our article, Why Do I Have to Give Information about My Family’s Income and Assets When I Apply for SSI Benefits? deemed income is the portion of an ineligible person’s income that is considered available to an SSI applicant or recipient. Some types of income are excluded when adding up the deemor’s income and the income of ineligible children living in the household. When you apply for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration will tell you whether or not a specific kind of income affects your SSI application.

Excluded income falls into two categories: income excluded by Social Security law and income excluded other federal laws. This first list itemizes various types of income that federal law other than the Social Security Act excludes from deeming to a potentially eligible SSI applicant. These types of income are excluded from the deemed income calculation for any SSI applicant except as noted related to sponsor-to-alien deeming.

The following is a partial list of exclusions from deeming that are provided for by Social Security law. They apply only to spouse-to-spouse deeming and parent-to-child deeming, unless otherwise noted.

  • All of the federally mandated exclusions just listed above.
  • Any public income maintenance payments and any income which was counted or excluded in figuring the amount of that payment.
  • Any of the income of an ineligible spouse, parent, or ineligible child that is used by a public income-maintenance program to determine the amount of that program’s benefit to someone else.
  • Any portion of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship used to pay tuition or other educational expenses.
  • Money received for providing foster care to an ineligible child.
  • The value of food stamps and the value of Department of Agriculture donated foods. These are also excluded from the income of an essential person or the sponsor of an alien by other federal statute.
  • Home produce grown for personal consumption.
  • Tax refunds on real property or food purchased by the family.
  • Income used to fulfill an approved Plan to Achieve self-support.
  • Any income that is used to comply with the terms of court-ordered support or support payments enforced under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
  • The value of in-kind support and maintenance. In-kind home energy assistance, housing, utilities, and food are excluded from an ineligible spouse’s or parent’s income and from the income of an ineligible child or of an eligible alien who is sponsored by an ineligible spouse or parent. However, in-kind income from work or other sources that is not support and maintenance, that is not compensation in the form of shelter or food, is countable at its current market value.
  • Periodic payments made by a state under a program established before July 1, 1973 and based solely on duration of residence and attainment of age sixty-five.
  • Disaster assistance. Some types of disaster assistance may also be excluded from the income of an essential person or the sponsor of an alien.
  • Infrequent or irregular income to certain limits.
  • Work expenses of the blind.
  • Income paid under a Federal, State, or local government program to provide chore, attendant, or homemaker services to the eligible individual.
  • Certain home energy assistance and support and maintenance assistance. Such assistance is also excluded from the income of an essential person or the sponsor of an alien;
  • An ineligible child’s or sponsored alien child’s earned income up to the monthly and yearly maximums for the Student Earned Income Exclusion, provided that the child is a student as defined by Social Security. The exclusion applies in sponsor-to-alien deeming as well.
  • Exclusion of revenues from the Alaska Native Fund paid under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Public Law 92-203, as amended.

Excluded by Other Federal Laws

  • Compensation provided to volunteers in the foster grandparents programs and other similar programs, unless determined by the Director of the Action Agency to constitute the minimum wage.
  • Food stamps and Department of Agriculture donated foods.
  • Disaster assistance may be excluded.
  • The value of any assistance paid with respect to a dwelling unit under The United States Housing Act of 1937; the National Housing Act, Section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, or Title V of the Housing Act of 1949. This exclusion applies to the income of sponsors of aliens only if the alien is living in the housing unit for which the sponsor receives the housing assistance.
  • Per capita payments under section 6 of Public Law 94-540 made to, or held in trust for, members of the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians in Indian Claims Commission docket number 40-K. This applies to the income of sponsors of aliens only if the alien lives in the sponsor’s household.
  • Per capita judgment funds to tribes or groups under section 7 of Public Law 93-134, as amended. This applies to the income of sponsors of aliens only if the alien lives in the sponsor’s household.
  • Revenues from the Maine Indians Claims Settlement Fund and Land Acquisition Fund paid under section 5 of Public Law 96-420. This applies to the income of sponsors of aliens only if the alien lives in the sponsor’s household.

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