Automatic Determinations

SSI Annual Report

SSI payment standard

Not everything an individual receives is considered to be income. Generally, if the item received cannot be used as, or to obtain, food or shelter, it will not be considered as income. For example, if someone pays an individual's medical bills, or offers free medical care, or if the individual receives money from a social services agency that is a repayment of an amount he/she previously spent, that value is not considered income to the individual. In addition, some items that are considered to be income are excluded when determining the amount of an individual's benefit.

Principal earned income exclusions

  • The first $65 per month plus one-half of the remainder (see general earned income exclusion below)
  • Impairment-related work expenses of the disabled and work expenses of the blind
  • Income set aside or being used to pursue a plan for achieving self-support by a disabled or blind individual
  • The first $30 of infrequent or irregularly received income in a quarter

Principal unearned income exclusions

  • The first $20 per month
  • Income set aside or being used to pursue a plan for achieving self-support by a disabled or blind individual
  • State or locally funded assistance based on need
  • Rent subsidies under HUD programs and the value of food stamps
  • The first $60 of infrequent or irregularly received income in a quarter

General earned income exclusion
The first $65 (up to a maximum of $85 if the individual has no income other than earnings) of any monthly earned income plus one-half of remaining earnings are excluded for SSI benefit computation purposes. This general earned income exclusion is intended to help offset expenses incurred while working.

For 2014, if an individual has only earnings income, then he or she could earn up to $1,527 per month and still be eligible for an SSI benefit. However, if an individual has monthly earnings of $1070 or more in 2014, then the person would be considered to be engaging in substantial gainful activity and would probably not meet initial eligibility requirements for SSI disability benefits (unless he or she is blind).