SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home2169. Deeming from a Parent to a Child Under Age 18

2169.1 How are income and resources deemed from a parent to a child under age 18?

A child under age 18 is subject to deeming from a natural or adoptive parent or a stepparent living in the same household. However, if a child lives only with the stepparent due to the death or divorce of the natural parent, the stepparent is not considered a parent for deeming purposes.

2169.2 What income is excluded?

The same exclusions that apply to the income of an ineligible spouse, as listed in §2167.3, apply to the ineligible parent. There are also living allowances for the parent(s) and an allocation for each ineligible child under age 22 (and is a student) living in the household. Any income of an ineligible child reduces the amount of the allocation.

The type of calculation used to figure the amount of deemed income for the child depends on the type of income the parent has after allocations are made for ineligible children.

2169.3 When does deeming NOT apply?

Deeming does not apply if the eligible child does not live in the same household as the parent, unless the absence is temporary (e.g., the child is away at school).

2169.4 What resources are excluded?

Any resources excluded for an eligible individual are excluded for an ineligible parent(s). However, two additional exclusions explained in §2167.3 apply to an ineligible parent(s). Currently, the balance of countable resources more than $2,000 in the case of one parent, or $3,000 in the case of two parents (or one parent and the parent's spouse), is deemed to the child.

2169.5 Is there an exception to normal parent-to-child deeming?

There is a provision that allows a waiver of the normal parent-to-child deeming rules. This waiver applies in very few circumstances. Beginning July 1, 1990, parental income or resources are not deemed to any child under age 18 who:

  1. Is disabled;

  2. Received one or more months of SSI benefits limited to the $30 reduced benefit rate because of residence in a medical treatment facility;

  3. Is eligible for Medicaid under a State home care plan; and

  4. Would be ineligible for SSI benefits because of deemed parental income or resources.

Last Revised: Apr. 12, 2010