Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a federal program that provides benefits to people who are disabled, blind, or aged and have limited resources and income. The program aims to help these individuals meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. However, to qualify for SSI, you must meet the income limit set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). We will explain what the SSI income limits are, what types of income are included, and how to determine your eligibility.


What are the income limits for SSI?


The income limit for SSI is set by the SSA and is generally equal to the Federal Benefit Rate or FBR. This rate is indexed to inflation and may change each year based on the Consumer Price Index. In 2021, the income limit for SSI was $794 per month for individuals and $1,191 per month for couples. In 2022, there will be a 5.9% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which means the 2022 FBR will increase to $843 per month for individuals and $1,265 for couples.


What types of income count toward the SSI income limit?


The SSA counts many types of income when determining SSI eligibility. The most common types of income include wages from employment, Social Security benefits, pensions, and government disability benefits. It’s important to note that some types of income are not counted for SSI purposes, such as income tax refunds, gifts, and loans. In addition, the SSA may exclude some types of shelter expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, from your income calculation.


How do I calculate my SSI income?


To calculate your SSI income, you must first determine your countable income. This includes all types of income minus any exclusions allowed by the SSA. The SSA provides extensive guidance on how to calculate net income. Your countable income is then compared to the FBR for your state and living situation. If your countable income is less than the FBR, you are eligible for SSI benefits. However, if your income exceeds the FBR, your SSI benefits will be reduced or eliminated.


What types of income does the SSA exclude from the SSI income limit?


When you’re living on a limited income, every penny counts. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not count a large portion of your income towards your limit. This means that you may be eligible for benefits even if you earn a certain amount of money each month. The list of exclusions is extensive, including income tax refunds, home energy assistance, disaster assistance, and federal tax credits. Additionally, the first $65 of your monthly earnings and half of your earnings over $65 are excluded from the limit. This gives eligible individuals a little extra financial flexibility and peace of mind knowing that they won’t lose their benefits due to certain types of income.

When it comes to receiving SSI benefits, it’s not just about meeting the income limit. Your living situation and location can also impact the amount you can earn. But that’s not the only thing to keep in mind. Accurate reporting of income is crucial to avoid overpayments and penalties. The SSA will check for changes in your income annually, so be sure to report any adjustments promptly. And don’t forget, other assets like savings and property can also affect your eligibility. Understanding the rules surrounding these assets is vital, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. With proper reporting and a good understanding of the rules, you can receive the support you need while staying within the eligibility guidelines.


Why is income so important to SSI?


The FBR (Federal Benefit Rate) income limit has significant implications for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) eligibility and monthly benefit amounts. Here’s why it matters:


SSI Eligibility


The FBR sets the income threshold for determining SSI qualification. If your earnings exceed the specified limit, your SSI application will be denied. Updated annually by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the FBR considers factors like living costs and inflation. For 2022, the FBR is $794 for individuals and $1,191 for couples. Going beyond these limits renders individuals ineligible for SSI benefits.


Maximum Monthly Benefit


The FBR also acts as the highest monthly benefit amount that SSI recipients can receive. Currently, no individual on SSI will receive more than $794 per month in 2022. However, SSI benefit amounts are not solely determined by the FBR alone. The SSA considers various factors, including countable income, resources, and living arrangements when computing SSI benefits.

Calculating SSI benefits can be intricate, particularly when determining countable income. Countable income refers to the earnings that the SSA deems available for essential needs like food, shelter, and clothing. Certain income exemptions apply, such as a $20 monthly allotted income exemption and excluding the first $65 earned. Only half of the remaining earnings are counted towards SSI benefits. For example, if you earn $400 a month, your countable income would only amount to $157.50.

It is crucial to report earnings to the SSA promptly as unreported income may lead to overpayment of SSI benefits. The SSA conducts periodic reviews of SSI recipients’ income and resources to ensure benefit accuracy. Complying with reporting requirements is vital to maintain SSI eligibility and prevent overpayment issues.


Find out if you meet SSI disability qualifications. Get a Free Evaluation.


Navigating the complexities of SSI eligibility can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the complex math involved. If you’re feeling uncertain about whether you meet the income limit requirements, there’s no shame in seeking out help from a disability attorney. In addition to reviewing your case, an attorney can assist you with important tasks such as gathering medical evidence and ensuring all of your paperwork is complete and accurate. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the SSA to deny initial disability claims. If this happens to you, don’t lose hope – with the right legal help, you can appeal the decision and fight for the benefits you deserve.


Get the Social Security Benefits You Deserve with Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault!


At Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the process of obtaining disability benefits. That’s why our Social Security lawyers are dedicated to helping individuals and families across Ohio get the benefits they need and deserve. With over 65 years of experience, we have the knowledge and skillset necessary to assist you in pursuing the benefits to which you are entitled. If you have questions about your eligibility, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our SSI lawyers for a free consultation. We offer a free evaluation to see if we may be able to assist you in your pursuit of benefits. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 or use our online contact form to see how we can help you.