Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration

When Income is Counted

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

2133. When Income is Counted

2133.1 When does SSA count your income?

Generally, we count both earned and unearned income in the month of actual or "constructive" receipt, whichever is earlier.

2133.2 What does "constructive" receipt mean?

"Constructive" receipt means that income is credited to your account or set aside for your use, whether or not you actually receive it in hand. (See §1302.) For example, if an individual asks an employer to hold his or her regular July 15 paycheck pending return from vacation on August 3, the wages are income in July. Similarly, a month's income includes certain amounts withheld at the source. For example, amounts deducted from a payment to satisfy a garnishment or to make certain payments, such as insurance premiums, are considered income in the month the withholding occurs.

Note: There is an exception. Net earnings from self-employment are determined on an annual basis and allocated equally over all 12 months of the tax year.

Last Revised: March, 2001


Sponsored Links

There are 2 Comments

My boyfrind insist he loves me and would marry me but says if we got married we couldnt make it on our ssi disability payment. He said the cut in our checks would be to big, and we wouldnt be able to make it. How much would ssi cut our checks by if we married? We both receive ssi disability. At this time we get 698.00 each. Thanks.


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration