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Understanding SSI Income Limits: Simplifying Definition and Terms

by Ryan Kinnar5 min read
Understanding SSI income limits

Most people are having difficulty understanding SSI income limits because they think it’s a complicated matter. But this is just a part of many SSI programs to help low-income people. Although there are some stipulations and conditions to meet, you can be informed and learn about how to simplify them by defining the terms and their meaning.


What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program of the US government that provides a certain amount of financial subsidy to low earning citizens and disabled. The program started in 1935, although it was just to provide retirement benefits to regular workers.

The law was amended in 1939 and added survivor of the retiree’s benefits, and eventually the disability benefits in 1959. On the other hand, it is the country’s Treasury General that funds the program and not the Social Security.


Who is eligible for SSI?

Anyone who is disabled, as determined by the SSA stipulations, or anyone who is 65 years or older without disabilities but with financial limitations is eligible for SSI. However, claimants must be determined to have insufficient income or has no more than $2,000 declared assets.

Claimants who have worked in the past 10 years should apply for SSDI. Claimants must also provide the agency with proof of disability. You can check out the agency’s list of Disability Benefits at their website.


Are children eligible for SSI?

Just like physically challenged adults, blind or disabled children are also eligible for SSI. No minimum age is required for a child to be eligible under the program.


What is SSI income limits?

As per 2017, the SSI income limits for an individual citizen is $735 every month and $1,103 for married couple. The limit is set by the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). However, it is important to note that not all income is counted under SSI. This means that you can still earn more than the said amount and still be qualified as beneficiary of the program. Among the unaccounted income under SSI are the following:


  • First $20 of your monthly income
  • First $65 of your income and half of your income more than $65 monthly
  • Food stamps
  • Tax refunds
  • Assistance from other government agencies
  • Assistance from non-government agencies
  • School grants and scholarships
  • Loaned money
  • Financial support from family
  • $1,790 monthly income and $7,200/year (effective January 2017) for students under age 22.

Other Details

For more information about SSI, SSI income limits and its coverage, you can refer to the agency’s official website under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 2017 edition.