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How does income affect SSI benefits?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2128. How does income affect SSI benefits?

The amount of your income determines your eligibility for SSI and the amount of your benefit. Generally, the more income you receive the lower your SSI benefit. If you have too much income, you are not eligible for SSI benefits. However, not everything you get is considered income and not all income counts in determining your eligibility.

In certain situations, other people are expected to share financial responsibility for an individual. In these situations, the income (and resources) of others are considered in determining the individual's eligibility and payment amount (see §2167).

Last Revised: Apr. 7, 2003



There are 8 Comments

How will my pension affect the amount of SS that I will be drawing at 66 years of age

If your pension is from work where you paid Social Security taxes, it will not affect the amount of your Social Security benefit. Pensions based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, the Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) probably will cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. This type of benefit reduction is called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

See here for details :

I turn 18 on the last day of the month...however the SSI will come before i turn 18 due to no mail delivery on sundays...does that check for the the next month belong to me or to my parents? if it belongs to them...what if i move out the day after i turn 18? does it go to me or to them??

Here is an excerpt from What You Need To Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits

When a child reaches age 18

A child’s benefits stop with the month before the child reaches age 18, unless the child is disabled or is a full-time elementary or secondary school student and unmarried. About three months before the child’s 18th birthday, you will get a letter explaining how benefits can continue. We also will send the child a letter and a student form.

if i'm drawing social security disability payments. And then begin drawing a pension from a company sponsored defined benefit pension plan. what affect will this have on my social security disability payments

I assume you're receiving "normal" Social Security disability rather than SSI which is means tested.

For "normal" Social Security disability, disability payments from private sources, such as private pension or insurance benefits, do not affect your Social Security disability benefits.

However, workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce your Social Security benefits.

I recently retired at age 62 and will start collecting my retirement income from ss 570.00 per month. I have been collecting ssi in the amount of 222.00. I am a disabled Vietnam veteran from war injury. Ofer 255.00 from the va. The ss agent stopped my ssi of 222.00 telling me I make too much money. Is this true? My disability is still the same if not worse and the amount of money is nothing.

Don't hesitate to contact Social Security for your particular case, but this sounds about right for the general case.

First, it seems that the $255 you get from the Veteran's Administration is "countable income" against SSI benefits. I have not double checked this, but the VA benefit does seem to be countable.

Next, note in general if your "countable income" exceeds $698, you will lose your SSI benefit (for an individual). This can vary from state to state, but let's use $698 as the "maximum income you can receive and still get SSI" amount.

Your (countable) Social Security retirement benefit and VA benefit sum to $570 + $255 = $825. The first $20 of income isn't counted, but you're still about $100 above the Federal maximum of $698.

See the following link for examples. Still, contact the SSA directly for your case.


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