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When I complete my SSI application form, it asks me to declare my income. Does all my income affect my SSI?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  131 Comments

Find out why it is important to declare all of your income on your SSI application form and see which kinds of income don’t count for SSI.

ssi-application-formThe Definition of Income

Income for SSI is money or in-kind goods that can be turned into cash to pay shelter and food expenses. In-kind income is also the payment of food and shelter by another person. If you are married, the Social Security Administration considers the income your spouse receives. If you are a child under eighteen, the income your parents receive is evaluated in determining your payment amount. All this income must be declared on your SSI application form.

Earned income is compensation for work activity. Please visit “I Want to Work. Can You Tell Me How to Get SSI While Working?” for a discussion of earned income and earned-income exclusions. All other income is unearned. This article focuses on unearned income. Some of the types of countable income are disability and retirement benefits, worker’s compensation, inheritances, and cash awards and prizes.

Understanding Income for your SSI Application Form

The more countable income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your countable income is over the SSI income limit, you cannot receive SSI. In 2016, to be eligible for a federal SSI payment, as an individual your countable income must fall below $753. Eligible couples income must be under $1,120.

When completing an SSI application form, it is important to list all your cash income and all in-kind income, including expenses that are paid for you by another person. If you were to take a guess on what was countable income, even if you had done a little research, you might be wrong because SSI laws regarding income are detailed and include a lot of exceptions. Further, if you were to omit countable income from your SSI application, you could leave yourself open to overpayments and even to fraud charges.

Income That Doesn’t Affect SSI

There are many, many unearned income exclusions. Some of them apply all the time and other apply only in certain circumstances. Some are provided for by SSI law and others are mandated by other federal laws. Many apply both to the income of the SSI applicant and the income of others who deem income to the applicant. For an explanation of deemed income, please see “Why Do I Have to Give Information about My Family’s Income and Assets When I Apply for SSI Benefits?” For a list of income excluded from deeming, see “Income Excluded from Deeming When Qualifying for SSI Benefits.”

The first $20 of unearned income, whether in cash or in-kind is excluded. Irregular or infrequent income of $60 or less per calendar quarter is also excluded. For information on in-kind support and maintenance and the limits to which it can be counted, see our article “Why Will Social Security Ask about My Living Arrangements When I Apply for SSI Disability?

There are more than fifty other unearned income exclusions that may apply to your SSI claim. Some of the most common are:

  • The value of food stamps, now called Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP.
  • Women, Infants and Children nutritional program, often called WIC.
  • Income tax refunds.
  • Most home energy assistance to help you pay your heating bill.
  • Assistance based on need that is funded by your state or local government.
  • Grants, scholarships, and other income received to pay educational expenses, as long as they are in fact used for education.
  • Income set aside for a Plan to Achieve Self-Support.
  • Many forms of Housing and Urban Development subsidies and some other housing subsidies.
  • School lunches and breakfasts.
  • Foster care payments.
  • Third-party payments for expenses that are not food or shelter, such as telephone and medical bills.
  • Death benefits that are used for the deceased person’s final illness and funeral expenses.
  • Shelter received from private, non-profit organizations.

Again, you do not have to sort out what income counts and what does not when you complete your SSI application form. The Social Security Administration will determine what counts and what does not, and they’ll let you know.

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  • Published: 11 months ago on March 3, 2016
  • By:
  • Last Modified: December 5, 2016 @ 7:40 pm
  • Filed Under: SSI
  • Dear Larry,

    With just you and your son in the household and $2,000 a month gross earnings, if medically approved, your child will be eligible for about $523. This assume that your resources (assets) are within the resource limit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    The core issue is whether or not you can work. With multiple mental health diagnoses, the question is how and how much do these illnesses affect your ability to function. It would be helpful to your claim if your psychiatrist or psychologist would complete a Global Assessment of Function form that describes your ability to function in various areas.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    If you can get a full psychological work up by a psychiatrist or psychologist or even by the nurse practitioner with the report co-signed by a doctor, it could help your claim. Be sure to attend the consultative examination even if you decide to get the mental assessment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    Be sure to attend the requested consultative examination; if you do not, your claim may be closed. If you get help in caring for your children, you should indicate that and any other assistance you have with caring for your home or other activities of daily living. For purposes of documenting disability,it is good to see a doctor at least occasionally because their testimony is given more weight than that of a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Gail,

    Social Security benefits higher than $755 result in ineligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Some states have an SSI state supplement that could result in payment for you. I suggest that you contact your local Social Security (SSA) office or call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to inquire whether your state has a supplement and where to apply, at SSA or at a state office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • My daughter is two and just got approved. She has learning delays. My husband works making 231 week and that’s after child support gets took out for his other child. We pay 400 month to my in laws since for now we live with them. We have one vehicle that we have a loan on of 207 month and we have insurance which is 187 month. What will and won’t effect my daughters ssi and will she get full payments? I don’t work I stay home with her.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carrie,

      Your husband’s gross work earnings and the child support he pays affect your daughter’s benefits. (Currently, his earnings may be low enough not to affect her benefits.) If you are not paying your daughter’s share of the housing and food costs or you buy food separately and don’t pay her share of shelter, your daughter’s SSI will be reduced. Her share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. If you are not paying your daughter’s share currently, when her SSI starts, you can use the money to pay her share and her benefits will be increased two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elena

    My husband gets paid cash how do I proof that to ssa? I’m applying for my child who has autism

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elena,

      If your husband is self-employed, he needs to file self-employment tax returns, which would document his earnings. If he is an employee working “under the table” with no taxes withheld, it is a problem. You can try getting a statement from his employer as the the amount of his gross earnings every month, but it is unlikely the employer would provide it because he is likely paying cash so that he does not have to collect and pay payroll taxes.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Raquel

    Hello I have a question. My daughter was diagnosed with autism and I would like to apply for ssi but don’t know how much is for to qualify. My husband is the only one that works and makes about 2,500 a month can we still apply for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Raquel,

      Assuming that your children do not have income, your daughter is financially eligible based on family income and composition. The family must also be within the resource limits. Parents can have $3,000 countable assets including retirement accounts that can be accessed. (A home and one vehicle are a couple of assets that don’t count; the value of additional vehicles is their equity value). Any excess counts toward the child’s resource limit of $2,000. If you are uncertain whether you meet the resource requirements, I suggest you file an application to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jacqueline

    Hello,
    I just received a letter from ssi stated that they are revoking my ssi. Does it end this month. I would think they would have given more time to adjust to this major change.
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacqueline,

      You do not give the reason for why your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is being terminated or whether you agree. If the reason is medical recovery and you disagree that you have recovered, you can appeal. If you appeal within ten days, you can request continuation of benefits during the appeal, although you might have to pay the money back if the claim closure is upheld. If the reason is that your income or assets are too high, consider whether the financial excess will be continuing or it is temporary. If it is temporary, you can report when you are financially eligible and have benefits reinstated without filing a new claim, assuming you have been ineligible for less than twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nichole Boylan

    I was approved for ssi in May. As of right now, I only get a third of ssi amount. Before I received my first check, I sent proof that I will now pay rent and water/sewage. The amount of my check is supposed to go up. How long does this usually take?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nichole,

      As long as you remain eligible, income changes in one month make a change in benefits two months later. This system avoids overpayments and underpayments. So you benefits should increase two months after you start paying for your own shelter and food costs. However, usually you have to actually start paying the costs before Social Security processes te change. If you did not have income when you made the report, it is possible that no action was taken to increase your benefits. (By-the-way, your benefit is two-thirds of the $733 maximum, not one-third. The reduction is one-third.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nichole Boylan

        Thank you. I started paying my bills with my first payment of backpay.. Since June was the first month of receiving actual benefits, my check will go up in Sept. I called the office and asked if there was anything else needed. Went through the questions/answer part. Everything is now in the computer.. I want to thank you for your advice.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Nichole.

  • Anonymous

    If I get full amount ssi now and have a pt cruise er pd. For in months to come will my ch. Be cut based on it being pd. For and owned instead of making payments

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      Please clarify. Do you meant that someone is going to buy a car for you and make the payments and the car will be in your name? When I get the clarification, I will respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Yenny

    Hi Kay

    I have 2kid both has Autism

    My husband and i ‘m Not working from 2015
    My husband receive unemployment from Edd
    $375 weekly
    And i also will receive $450 weekly From EDD
    I have $5,500 in my Checking account

    I just did phone interview with SSI
    But she said i will not be elegible for SSI
    Due to my bank balance is over $3,000
    Can i appeal in this case?
    Or I wait and Re apply after my balance get less than $3,000

    Also can i apply both from SSI for my kids
    and apply IHSS for me?
    If Not what do you recommend to do

    Thank you for your time and Help:)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yenny,

      If the $5,500 is your only resource, you should appeal. You and your husband can have $3,000 and the excess $2,500 would be split between your two children, $1,250 each, which is below the children’s limit of $2,000 each. Your family income is within the limits while only your husband is getting unemployment. Once your unemployment starts, the family’s unearned (non-work) income will be too high for your children to be eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    Becky, I get $1,046 in SSD each month. My husband was just approved for SSI but they only gave him $74 a month !! Our jaws dropped. It is only us, one car, one home no savings, no other income. It seems they would have gave him more. This does not seem right. Is it correct?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      The maximum federal amount of SSI paid to a couple with no other income is $1,100. All but $20 of the gross amount of Social Security (SSD before reduction for Medicare premiums) counts to reduce the maximum. Accordingly, your husband’s SSI payment appears to be correct.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert Blanton

    Hi, Kay. I receive SSDI benefits of 767 dollars a month. My biological child get 79 dollars on my record.For a total of 846.00.My wife just got approved for SSI. She has a child from a previous relationship, (we all live together) How will my SSDI income affect my wife’s SSI income and our 2 children.
    Thanks–Robert

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      With two minor children to support (one with $79 income), I estimate that your wife’s SSi benefit will go down by about $79.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carla

    Hello Ms Kay, I’m legally blind and receive full ssi payments, however, my living situation is getting harder and a close friend offer to give me 700 monthly to help so I can live by myself, so I’ll have 1433 monthly to rent a place and pay everything else ie. Utilities and food.. Will that money (the 7000) affect my ssi payments? Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carla,

      For each month your friend gives you $700, your SSI will be reduced by $680. If your friend uses the $700 to pay part of your rent or utilities directly to the landlord and utility companies instead of giving you the money, your SSI would be reduced only by one third to $488.67.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cara

    My fiance and I would like to marry. We have 3 children under 18 living in our home. None of whom receive SSI benefits. He makes roughly 1400 a month and I am receiving 733. If we marry would I lose my SSI benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cara,

      If the $1400 is gross wages and the children are your and/or your fiance’s children and the children have no income,, your SSI payment amount will not be affected by your marriage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amy

    Hi, Kay,
    My monthly income is $ 600. My rent is 1,000. I live alone and am widowed.
    My son pays the rest of the rent of $ 400 directly to my landlord. I am on ebt and Medicaid.
    I applied for ssi, I live in nyc. How much will I get, total, federal and state ssi?
    Thanks for your time and effort. Amy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amy,

      If your rent includes all utilities and you are not getting other cash or in-kind support to pay them, your SSI will be $428 if you are approved. If you are approved, you can use the back pay to pay your own expenses and after two months your federal and state SSI will go up to $808.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amy

        Thanks, Kay.

        Yes, all utilities are included in the rent amount of 1,000 and I do not receive any cash from elsewhere, except for the monthly in-kind payment of 400 my son pays directly to my landlord via check as partial rent payment.

        May I ask how did you calculate the ssi amount of $ 428 I would receive in case I am approved? Thanks for explaining!

        • Amy

          Also, Kay, my $ 600 monthly income is UNearned income, a pension. Amy

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amy.

          This response considers the post you made later on May 23 as well as this one.

          My error, Amy, the maximum reduction for in-kind support and maintenance is $244.33 so the full amount of the in-kind assistance you are receiving is not counted. However, your $600 income has to be considered.

          If you are receiving non-service connected VA pension, the pension is not counted. On the other hand, if you are receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability or a military retirement, all but $20 is countable income. The maximum federal SSI payable with no other income is $733. Your countable income would be $824.33 ($580 plus $244.33), more than the maximum SSI income level.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Anonymous

        I recently lost my job and my son gets ssi. Will he still be eligible for ssi if I am not working?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anonymous,

          Loss of income does not stop SSI, but you should report that your work ended. If your son is receiving less than $733, he might be eligible for an increase.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • jennifer tapp

    Hi, i recieved my phone interview letter, my husband makes 1,600 a month…will this deny me the ssi, even though we have rent and other bills

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Your husband’s $1,600 gross earnings will affect your payment amount but will not make you ineligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • crystal

    I was wondering will I be able to get ssi with my husbands income he gets paid 610.00 a week.my son is six and I receive 150 a month for child support will that effect me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      The child support should be considered your son’s income and not yours. As such it will be used to reduce the allotment of your husband’s wages for his support. In months that you husband gets four weekly checks or two biweekly checks you will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on income only. In months that he gets five weekly checks or three biweekly checks, you will not be financially eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi Ms. Kay

    My daughter just got approve for ssi august 2015. I have phone interview to see if she is still egible ssi. For the year of 2015 i made 16172 for whole year and 11000 for the year 2014. They want me to turn in my tax return and pay stubs which i have for proof. I am no longer working for the year of 2016. Will she still qualify for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kesha,

      Yes, your daughter will qualify financially for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Allison

    My husband is on SSI. I receive IHSS for my son who is disabled. I just turned 65 and would like to apply for SSI for myself. I was told that I’m not eligible based on my income, my husband however remains eligible. I don’t understand why since we are married, shouldn’t I be eligible if he is eligible? Also, how do they treat IHSS income? I was told by several people that it is exempt for SSI purposes? Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Allison,

      My understanding is that the IHSS is countable earned income for the care provider with usual work earnings exclusion of part of the earnings unless you are caring for your SSI eligible spouse or SSI eligible child. It is possible that “eligible child” does not include an adult child.

      If you apply for SSI based on age, your and your husband’s benefits will be calculated together. Your countable income will be combined and used to reduce the maximum SSI payable to both of you. The maximum SSI for a couple is $1,100. If your combined countable income is $500, $480 of it would be used to calculate the benefit and $620 would be payable. Each of you would receive a payment of $310. If you do not apply for SSI, your income would still be considered in determining your husband’s benefit. If you did not file a formal claim and you think it would be advantageous for you to apply, I suggest filing a formal application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jody

    Hi Kay,
    I am waiting for a hearing date for SSI and I am wondering if my 16 year old son gets a job will his earnings affect my SSI back pay and monthly payments?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jody,

      If you are single or living separately from your spouse, your son’s work earnings will have no affect on your application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you live with a spouse and your child earns more than $7,180 in a year (or over $1,780 in any single month), then his earnings could indirectly affect the computation of your SSI benefit because part of his earnings could reduce the amount of your spouse’s income that was excluded for his support.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robbie

    Hi, my boyfriend gets about $450 a month in SSI benefits. He has been working when he can because that just isn’t enough to live on and raise his son. Someone that is mad at him is blackmailing him for money or they will turn him in. What will happen to him if they do? Or should he just go tell them himself?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robbie,

      Your boyfriend needs to report all his work right away. If he is getting SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and working without reporting the work, he could be charged with fraud, which can result in a prison sentence and/or being barred from future benefits. He will need present proof of his earnings–dates worked and payment amounts. Depending on how much he has been earning, it is possible he has an SSI overpayment. Note that depending on the amount of his income, his family might qualify for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to help support his son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Deborah

        my husband with whom I live receivesapproximately thousand fifty $1,050.00 and pays $100 towards His health care so he receives a net check of $950.00 from social security. I receive a $410 a month check from Social Security and getting ready to apply for Social Security disability .How can I determine, if I’m eligible? What I would receive if anything at all.. Thank you in advance Kay..

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Deborah,

          Your eligibility for Social Security Disability is not affected by your husband’s income. If you are currently receiving reduced retirement or reduced wife’s benefits and are approved for Social Security Disability, you benefit will go up to the disability rate. Without knowing the kind of benefits you receive or your age when you started receiving benefits, I can’t estimate. If you are receiving benefits on your own earnings records, you can call Social Security at 800-772-1213 and request the amount of your Primary Insurance Amount, which would be your disability rate.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chyneika Hairston

    I just got cut off ssi in January for not giving my new address. I just reapplied today how long will it take till I’m approved again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chyneika,

      It can take from a week to a month for the record to be updated and payment to resume.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather

    I’m a divorced mom of a 6 year old that receives ssi I started working making 8.25 ranges from 250-300 weekly how will this affect my sons ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Assuming that you are not supporting another non-disabled child, in months that you receive four weekly checks of $300 gross, your earnings will reduce your son’s benefit by about $178 two months later. In months that you receive five weekly checks of $300, your earnings will reduce his benefit two months later by about $328. Be sure that you report your earnings for every month by the 10th of the following month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tanya Sanchez

    Hi Kay
    I have a question
    I am on SSI receiving 676.00 a month. My 2 kids are on public assistance. HRA has been trying to close my case. My sons father pays 879.00 (only for my son) to HRA a month . I receive 200.00 of that as a pass through payment.
    IF my HRA case is closed then I will receive the 879.00 a month.
    Will that lower or effect my monthly SSI payment?
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tanya,

      I would expect the child support to be considered to be your child’s income. If that is the case, the support will not reduce your SSI because your children’s income does not affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) paid for you.(If you were married and your spouse had income, then the children’s income could indirectly affect your payment.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • greta kirbow

    Hi, my husband receives 684. a month ssdi and 68. a month ssi if i get a job as his caregiver due to him being legally blind making approximately 1200. a month will it affect his ssi payment?

    • greta kirbow

      we also have 1 child that is 7 that does not receive any money and my husbands is the only income at the present

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Greta,

        Please see my reply of a few minutes ago. With one minor child and $1,200 gross earnings, even if the income is not excluded, I calculate that your husband’s SSI would not go down.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Greta,

      I believe that your earned income as a relative caregiver is excluded from countable income for Supplemental Security Income if it is paid under certain programs. I suggest that you contact the paying agency to get the exact name of the program or law under which the payments would be made. Also, ask whether you can get a copy of the statute that provides for the payment if it is under government statute and ask if they know whether it is countable income for SSI. You might see something in the statute that would answer your question. Note that even if you get an opinion from that paying agency, take the name of the program under which the payments would be made to the Social Security Administration to find out for sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • martavious chambers

    if i get a job making 480 every two week and recivie 733 in ssi chould i keep my ssi and if so whould it reduce

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Martavious,

      If you are single or not living with your spouse and you have no other income besides SSI and your work and $488 are gross earnings, your SSI would be reduced to approximately $296 in months you had two paychecks. In the two months of the year that you got three paychecks, you would receive about $56.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • April

        I draw ssi my daughter was approved will my ssi hurt her ssi payments

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear April,

          Your SSI payments will not affect your daughter’s SSI benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Denny mitchell

            My wife got approved for ssi in October. I was wondering when they factor in my income do they go by gross income or federal taxable income. I ask because i receive a benefit allowance from my job to pay for insurance that cant be used for anything other than insurance and is non taxable and then i make about 1400 a month in wages that are taxable.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Denny,

              It is my understanding that your full compensation including the income for insurance will count in determining your wife’s benefits.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Sheena

    Hi! My, daughter was just approved for SSI 11/9/15 I am a single parent of 2 minor kids. My, earned income is all of our income which is 1,300 monthly. I, pay all house hold expenses including cable & utilities. I, also pay a car note & car insurance. My question is will I receive the full amount of monthly SSI benefits for my daughter & when also will I receive back pay?!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheena,

      If your $1,300 a month income is gross wages before taxes and other withholding, your earnings will not affect your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Labrisha

    My five year old son was approved for SSI…i m single and I work 25 hours and 10.00 hourly…will my income affect my son Ssi Income? Thanks For Your Advice

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Labrisha,

      Your earned income is not high enough to reduce your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gabrielle

    Hello Kay,
    I am applying for my newborn’s Disability However I am a little confused About The SSI Process I currently live with my mother I have two little brothers in the household who are not disabled And I get food stamps My mother pays mortgage And I still eligible for his SSI or will it affect His SSI Currently I have no income And I have to contribute $300 Month Toward shelter once my income starts coming in.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gabrielle,

      Your mother’s and brother’s income will not affect your child’s eligibility. If approved your baby’s SSI will be $488 at current rates. When you start to get SSI, if you use it to pay the $300 for shelter and $300 is one fifth (five people in household) of the shelter costs including shelter utilities, your child’s benefit will go up to $733. If the $300 does pay the baby’s share (you personally will be paying nothing), the benefit may go up from $488, but not to $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gabrielle

        Ok thank you kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Gabrielle.

          • Amber

            Hi
            I get ssi for 2 of my children 6 yr old diabetic who gets 733 and my new born preemie who gets 733. Im supposed to be starting a new job next month making 11.80 a hour 40 hours a week. How will that affect my kids benfits? I have 4 children single mom and i pay rent and utilities

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Amber,

              Your work earnings will not affect your children’s benefits, assuming your two non-disabled children have no income including child support. You do need to report that you are starting work and report your wages every month.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Jody

    Hi, I am wondering if receiving tanf will effect my ssi back pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jody,

      Part or all of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay will be withheld to repay the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) you have been receiving while your SSI pended.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello, my question is…I have a 7 year old son who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in March 2015… I’ve applied for his disability…will my husbands income affect him being improved? If he works OT he brings home around $500 a week.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      So I can answer your question, please give me your husband’s gross wages and tell me whether you have other children in the household or for whom child support is being paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • KSloan

    Hey Kay,
    I have a five year old son who just got approved for SSI 9/2015 and I have a non- disabled daughter. I’m a single mom and have only earned income that ranges for 2700 monthly with overtime and 2500 average. Will this affect his ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear K.,

      Your earnings are high enough to cause a reduction in your son’s benefits. Depending on your earnings in a specific month, you son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be reduced by a little over $100 up to an approximate $250 reduction. To avoid overpayments, be sure to report your earnings by the tenth of every month. Earnings received in one month affect SSI benefits two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shonna

    I was recently approved for SSI. I am a divorced, single mother. I have full custody of our minor child and pay all of his living expenses. My ex-husband is on SSA disability and our minor son receives SSA child benefits as child support. I am the representative payee for my son. Will the amount my son receives affect the amount of SSI I will receive each month?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shonna,

      The child support should be considered your son’s income for his support and not yours and; therefore, it should not affect your supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shonna

        Thank you!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Shonna.

  • andrea garofolo

    i just got approved for ssi and my son is 20 yrs old but i still get arrears for him but no current child support,can they use this as income and reduce my ssi benefit??also i was told if i decided to give my adult son his back child support they will not use it as income.he is starting college and has a part time job and a student loan.i would love to be able to give him this money to use for his future.am i legally allowed to give it to him and will ssi me my full benifit and not use the support as income?thanks so much.i am so confused

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrea,

      I would think that you can use the child support to support your adult child by giving it to him for his college education; however, you should check this with the child-support collection agency or a lawyer to be sure. If it was a Social Security representative that told you the child support would not count if it went to your son, then I would trust that. (You might see whether you can set it up so it is paid directly to him.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tora Williams

    I am a single mom of four children 2 of my children has adhd One has been approved the other child still waiting on a decision. I work 35 hour a week and monthly income the most is 2600 would my income affect my children ssi payment. Just got approved 8/3/2015.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tora,

      Given the number of adults and non-disabled children in the household, your gross earnings of $2,600 would not affect the amount of your disabled children’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Beverlee Rezai

    This may not be the best place to ask this, but, I need Atlanta dentists and I don’t know how to find them… do you know anyting about this Atlanta dentist? They’reIt’s located Atlanta, near my house. I cannot find reviews on them – Exceptional Smile LLC, 4420 Bankers Cir, Atlanta, GA 30360 – (678) 841-8800

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Beverlee,

      You are right; I can’t give any input on dentists. You might try to contact the dental licensing board in your state to find out whether there have been any complaints against the dentist you are considering using.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay:
    My wife, after about 4 years trying, finally got approved for SSI for over $300 a month in May 2015. Today (July 31) we get a “Notice of Planned Action” letter from SSA that they will cut her down to 0 in September based on an “estimated income” of $2400 from my job as a grocery clerk. I have not come close to that amount in the last several years, if ever..The last two weeks I’ve gotten 23 and 22 hours..There’s been a few higher weeks recently but they approved her originally based on 3 years of income from the same job It hasn’t changed that much in the last few months. I get that they have to redetermine eligibility every few months but to “estimate” based on “potential” future income when they have no idea what is actually going on seems unfair Sorry for the rant and thanks for your input..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      Income received in one month affects Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits two months later (as long as earnings are low enough to allow payment.) If you are not already doing so, start submitting proof of your earnings every month on the first of the month for wages received in the prior month. (Inquire about phone reporting.) That should allow your wife’s benefits to be calculated correctly every month. With regard to the current termination, have your wife take your pay stubs for the last six months to a Social Security office and request that the estimate be changed to an amount that you feel is the most you will be earning. (You can change the estimate if your earnings go up.) If the representative doesn’t agree right away to change the estimate, file a request for reconsideration and request payment continuation while the appeal is being processed. Payment will be continued if you file the appeal within ten days of the notice of termination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dee Yancey

        Dear Kay

        I had a fully favorable decision on July 17th 2015 after fighting with ssi for almost 3 years. I had a phone appointment with ssi on Aug 18th 2015. my question to you is can they use my partners income against me. We are not married but have a joint checking account, and have lived together for the past 8 years. I was told that ssi will take all of my backpay because of my partners income and it will reduce my monthly payment.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          If you have not registered as domestic partners and do not live in a state that recognizes common-law marriages, you can appeal the decision to count your partner’s income in determining you benefits because his income should not be deemed to you. However, you had legal access to all the money passing through the bank account, so any month that your assets including the money in the joint account exceeded $2,000 on the first of the month, you were ineligible for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lisa

    I have been on Workers comp for over 10 years. I never filed for any disability retirement or ssdi. I am 50 years old. I don’t know if I should just stay on OWCP or file? My Dr reports say I am permanently disabled.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      You may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits and the SSDI benefits together with the workers comp (WC) may exceed what you are receiving now.

      The challenge is to prove that you became disabled while you were still insured for Social Security. The latest that you could have been insured is about five years ago. I suggest that you try to get a copy of your WC medical records, including those from the first two to three years of your WC claim, which will have the most informtion. Submit those records with your SSDI claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    I am a single mom and i work but only 23 hrs and pay 7.35 an hour and get paid every week and my take home around 140.00 and my son on ssi . How much will my work effect his ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Your earnings are not high enough to affect your son’s SSI; however, you do need to report the work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My boyfriend and I are moving to a place and the rent is 750 with a 600 security deposit. I only receive 733 from Ssi. My boyfriend is currently looking for another job. If we move to the new place how will that effect my Ssi? If it does, and will my Ssi go up? How much if so?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angelina,

      You are currently receiving the maximum federal SSI. If your boyfriend does not pay more than half of the rent, utilities, and food wherever you live and you pay the other half, your SSI will not go down with your moves.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ashley Rhodes

    Hello,
    My boyfriend recieves ssi and we want to get married but can not afford our bills without his full ssi payment. We have 3 minor children and non of them are eligible for ssi.., i typically bring in about $600 per month earned income.. if we were to get marroed would my income affect his payment…( neither of us have any assrts)
    Thank you,
    Ashley

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      With three children in the household, your earned income would not affect your husband’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount. He should, however, report your marriage and he will have to report your gross earnings each month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi my son was approved for ssi but he was found ineligible because I own property. But I m gonna move back on this property why couldnt my son receive any money while this is in process?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program’s purpose is to provide shelter and food. The property you own is not providing your son with shelter; it is, therefore, considered a resource, the value of which could be used to provide him with food and shelter. Therefore, he is not eligible.

      If you had the property up for sale with a real intent to sell it, you son might be able to receive SSI benefits until it was sold. At that time, you would probably have to repay all the SSI he received while the sale was pending and he might be ineligible for a time after that because you would have the cash from the sale to support him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Andrea Coughlin

    My son has autism and ADHD, I want to apply him for ssi. I dont work and get food stamps and medicaid for us. My only real question is, we live with my mother and dont pay rent do I have to put her income as well or her mortgage payment as unearned income? I dont have to involve her with social services, but my guess is with ssi I do. Any help would be wonderful, thank you,!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrea,

      If your son is approved for SSI, the value of the free housing he is receiving from his grandmother will be counted as income to reduce his SSI payment up to one-third. Once benefits start, if your son starts paying his share of housing expenses (mortgage and utilities excluding cable and phone), his benefit will be increased. His grandmother will be asked to provide documentation of housing expenss and confirm your son’s contribution when he starts to pay his share.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kathy odonnell

    Hi Kay. I hope I got this site correct. Sorry about wrong email address. My question is that I have 4 years that I did not file taxes. Will my back pay be garnished or will I be notified by IRS first. Also I live in mass. I applied two weeks ago for the direct express card and was told I would receive the card this week. Do you think a payment might be on the card when I get it?? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      If you are approved for Social Security Disability, benefits can be garnished for back federal taxes. You would get advance notification. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits would not be garnished. You may receive the card before payment is delivered to it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sky

    Dear Kay,

    Do you know how much I can make monthly so my son can keep receiving SSI? I also Have another son who is not disabled & I am the only parent in the household.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sky,

      If all your income is earned and your non-disabled child has no income, you can have earned income $3,370 gross wages or net self-employment. If your income is unearned you can have $1,843. If you have both earned and unearned income or your child has income, see the sample calculation in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rachel

    I want to know if my grown children that live with me get back time child support will this affect my ssi check this is all i live on

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachael,

      Your adult children’s income does not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If the amount they contribute to shelter and food costs chances, you do need to report that.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Heather

    I got a letter from ssi saying I have to report my wages every month by phone that I make so my 12 year old can keep getting her disability check every month whys this? And why can’t I provide a income tax return as proff why does it have to be a check stub for every single week I got paid for the whole year and not the tax return for the whole year.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is determined on a month=by-month basis, not an annual basis; therefore, you have to report monthly. As long as your daughter remains eligible for SSI, your earnings in one month will determine her payment amount two months later. Accordingly, if you report on time, you can avoid most overpayments that you would have to repay later.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Dee

    Hi Ms. Kay..someone asked if a person receives a city pension (i think would be considered “public”, not private) that is under $500, would they still get the full amount of SSI or just the amount to make up the $710? Your work on this website is truly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      The city pension would reduce the SSI benefit by $20 less than the amount of the pension (assuming that the person does not have other “unearned” income.) For example, if the pension were $400 and the person’s only income, then the SSI maximum would be reduced by $380, so that he or she would receive $330 SSI to supplement the $400 pension. If the person had other income to which the $20 exclusion was already applied, then the reduction for the pension would be the full $400.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Dee

        Amazing…Thank you again.

        • Kay Derochie

          You’re welcome, Dee.

    • Barbie

      Dear Kay.
      My. Question is I was approved for both ssi and ssdi I’m. Still waiting for my payments and. Back. Pay. I was approved on Nov 2015 do. I have. To. Report my back pay and payment on my income tax this year or next year which. I have not been pay yet. Also. Do. I have to report that I’m working I only. Bring home 300 every. Two weeks which come out to 800 month. My question is will. I loose my. Benefits since. I. Just. Got approved I’ve. Only. Waiting five. Years to get. Approved if. I’m. Working only. Part time. And. Do. I. Have. To. Tell. Them. I’m working thank. You. For. Your. Help barbie

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Barbie,

        You do need to report your work earnings right away. The earnings are not high enough to affect your Social Security Disability eligibility or benefit amount, but need to be report them anyway. The earnings will reduce the amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by about $350 for any month in which you earned $800.

        SSI is not taxable. Some of your Social Security may be taxable in the year it is received. The amount that is taxable depends on your overall income. The IRS can provide more information.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dee

    Hi Ms. Kay, I applied for ss benefits 12/12..I was in contact with the person handling my claim and I made sure she recieved all my medicsl records and I kept all appts. they required of me. I recieved a letter dated October 2013 saying I was denied social security disability benefits because my points ran out 2/11. The letter also said I was not disabled medcally which I have mental and back issues in my spine. I did not understand the letter at all so I called the 800 number and was told I would be receiving an award letter from ssi in 30 to 60 days. I’m afraid to wait the 60 days because i won’t have any appeal time if i should appeal something while waiting for this ssi award letter she said i would be receiving. She offered to send appeal forms for ssdi but said it didn’t make sense because there were no points (insurance ran out). I wanted to also know could I appeal to try and prove I was disabled before my points ran out? Should I call them again ? It is now 30 days on November 15th.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      Your approval for SSI and your Social Security denial are two separate decisions. If you believe that you were disabled while you were still insured (before your points ran out), then yes, you should appeal the denial. If you think they did not consider your back condition or made other errors in assessing your condition before February 2011, you will want to focus your appeal on those issues.

      It would probably benefit you to have an attorney assist you with this. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      You might also look at your earnings records to be sure that they have all your earnings posted. You can get the earnings records by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If earnings are missing from the last three years, you do not need proof of earnings for Social Security to investigate. If earnings are missing for an earlier period of time, you will need to present your W-2 forms or other proof of having earnings that were taxed for Social Security.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • Dee

        Thank you Ms. Kay so very much for your speedy reply…I have not yet recieved a response as of yet from ssi just as the 800 rep. said. One more question please, if you will, If I file an appeal for the ssdi that I have no more insurance on, will that interrupt or decelerate processing of the award the rep said was coming in 30-60 days? And thank you for clearing up the separate notifications…I feel better about that at least.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          Appealing your SSDI claim should not slow payment of your SSI claim. It appears that The SSI claim has already gone through the medical review and just needs financial updates and payment processing.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Dee

            My sincerest thanks and if it’s okay I would like to update you of how my case works out.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              You are most welcome and I would be happy to hear the outcome of your claim.

              Best regards,

              Kay

          • becky

            Hellokay
            I applied forssdi/ssi on Dec 5, 2013. Received letter I was approved for ssi 3\14\14 but income too high to receive Payment which I already expected. I called about SSSI and was decision was made feb7 but it was to QC review and that I would re dive decision by 4\8. I suffer kidney failure which began 11\2010. I was working g fulltime and my employer let me work from home and gave me flex hours I was laid off dec4 for lack of work and applied for unemployment. I know about conflicting statements but I would work if someone would let me work under similar arrangements. Remote work in my field is rare to none. Will this cause me to be denied or have reduced benefit because of prior work history?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Becky,

              Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim will be approved if you have enough work credits and are disabled. This is true whether or not you have applied for unemployment. If you are receiving dialysis for your kidney failure, you can apply to receive Medicare now without waiting for a final decision from Social Security and without serving the twenty-four-month waiting period for Medicare entitlement as a disabled person.

              Sincerely,

              Kay

  • Teresa Fogarty

    I have a issue if you could answer it for me

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