How are my benefits affected by SSI income limits?


Payment for work done is earned income.  Unearned income is cash received but not earned through work, including cash, gift cards, or anything that can be turned into cash.  The SSI income limit reduces the SSI benefit amount. 

There are income exclusions used to calculate the income amount:

  • First $20/month of general income
  • First $65 of earned income
  • In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) above the cap – free or reduced cost food and/or shelter
  • Certain Medical and Social Services
  • Food and shelter received during medical confinement
  • Personal services performed for an individual
  • Income Tax refunds
  • Rebates and Refunds or other returns of money you have already paid
  • Loan proceeds

General Calculation to subtract income from SSI:

  • Unearned income reduces SSI by $1 for each $1 earned after the $20 general income exclusion is applied. 
  • Earned income reduces SSI by $1 for each $2 earned after the $20 general income and $65 earned income exclusions are applied. 
  • *If SSI is reduced to $0 in a given month, Medicaid benefits may be lost!

Additional Resources

Global Genes Badge

FD/MAS Alliance is a recipient of the Financial Advocacy in RARE Impact Grant sponsored by Global Genes.  Thanks to this award, FD/MAS Financial Literacy 101 is made possible.  We thank Michael Beloff, CFP®, ChSNC® Wealth Advisor at Belvedere Wealth Partners, for donating his time and financial expertise and Caroline Fuchs, CAE, for contributing her time, communications, and digital strategy expertise to the FD/MAS community for this resource.