SSI income limits what are they?Claimants who do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because they do not have sufficient work credits may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which are benefits offered to disabled claimants with no work credits but meet the SSI income limits and resource limits. Unfortunately, there are many questions remaining about the types of income allowed and SSI income limits. Recently on our disability forum a user asked, I was denied SSDI benefits because I do not have sufficient work credits to be insured. I thought I might qualify for SSI, but I think my income may be too high. Can you tell me more about what is considered income by the SSA and whether or not I meet the SSI income limits?
SSI income limits- its not just employment wages
First, its important to understand that claimants will only qualify for SSI benefits if their income falls under certain SSI income limits. For example, in 2015, if your income is greater than $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples, you will not qualify for SSI benefits.
There is a catch, however, if you are working and making income from your job not all of your wages will count as income so it is possible to make more than $733 in wages and still qualify for SSI benefits. Lets take a closer look at what the SSA considers income. Its important to remember that the definition for income may include benefits other than cash. Specifically, the SSA counts the following as income.
- Cash benefits received from SSA retirement, pensions, spousal support, child support, and veterans benefits.
- Earned income from your job such as your wages.
- Benefits such as free rent, food, or housing that you are receiving from a nongovernmental source (referred to as in-kind income).
- Part of the income of your spouse (referred to as deemed income).
SSI income limits and valid exclusions
As mentioned above, your income level cannot be higher than $733 in 2015 to qualify for SSI, but this does not mean that all the money you earn will be considered income. So what does the SSA exclude when they are calculating your SSI income limits? Below is a list of some of the items the SSA will not consider income. Food stamps
- Medical care
- Income tax refunds
- Reimbursement of expenses from a social services agency
- The first $20 per month of income other than wages (unearned income)
- The first $65 per month of wages (earned income) and one-half of wages (earned income) over $65
- Wages that go toward special impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) for disabled persons or blind persons (BWE)
- The first $30 of infrequent or irregularly received earned income in a quarter
- The first $60 of infrequent or irregularly received unearned income in a quarter
- Home energy assistance
- Grants, scholarships, fellowships or gifts used for tuition and educational expenses
- Food or shelter based on need provided by nonprofit agencies
- Money someone else spends to pay your expenses for items other than food or shelter (for example, someone pays your telephone or medical bills)
For a full listing review SSI Income information.
Bottom Line: If your income is too high and is not below the SSI income limits you will be denied SSI benefits, regardless of the severity of your health condition.