Income

2128. How does My Income Affect My SSI Benefits?
The amount of your income determines your eligibility for SSI and the amount of your benefit, so it is important to see this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2167.

2129. How is Income Defined for SSI Purposes?
For SSI purposes, income is anything you receive during a calendar month that is used, or could be used, to meet your needs for food or shelter such as cash, or something like cash such as food, shelter, or something else you can use to get food or shelter. It is important to see this section of the Handbook for more detailed information.

2130. What is NOT Income for SSI Purposes?
For SSI purposes, certain things you receive are not income, even if they have value, so you will want to read this section in the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2138, and §2156.

2131. What is Countable Income?
For SSI purposes, countable income is determined on a calendar month basis and it is an amount to determine your eligibility and to calculate your monthly benefit amount, so it is important to see this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2132.

2132. How is Income is Counted?
The SSI counts income monthly by determining income for that month and then the certain exclusions are applied to that month's income, so it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2167 and §2183.

2133. When is Income is Counted
The SSA counts both earned and unearned income in the month of actual or “constructive” receipt of the income, so it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §1302.

2134. What is Earned Income?
Earned income is generally wages paid or constructively paid for services you perform as an employee, and other income as more fully described in this section of the Handbook. See also §1302.

2135. What are the Earned Income Exclusions?
In figuring countable earned income, certain exclusions are authorized by other Federal laws and by Title XVI of the Social Security Act and any earned income exclusion may apply to unearned income, and the exclusions are applied in a specific order that is more fully outlined in detail this section of the Handbook.

2136. What is “Unearned Income”?
“Unearned income” is all income that is not earned. See also §§2140, 2143, and 2142.

2137. What are the Unearned Income Exclusions?
As with earned income, certain unearned income exclusions are authorized by other Federal laws. For a complete list of countable unearned income see this section of the Handbook for more detail. See also §2138, §2161, §2139, and §2139.

2138. What is Assistance Related to Disaster?
A “major disaster” is one declared by the President. Since any assistance that you receive related to a disaster can have an impact on you SSI, it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information.

2139. Can Home Energy or Support and Maintenance Assistance be Excluded from Income?
Home energy or support and maintenance (i.e., food or shelter) assistance received may be excluded under certain circumstances, so it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information.

2140. What is “In-Kind Income”?
“In-Kind Income” is income that is not in the form of cash or an can include, but not be limited to, food, room and board, clothes, real property, and the like. Since in-kind income may have an impact on your SSI, it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information.

2141. What is “In-kind Support and Maintenance”?
“In-Kind Support and Maintenance” means things like food or shelter is paid on your behalf by someone else and you did not earn this in any way where it would considered income. Since in kind support and maintenance can have an impact on your SSI benefits, it is important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information.

2142. What is the Valuation of In-kind Support and Maintenance?
There are two rules that SSA uses for valuing in-kind support and maintenance: 1.) the “one-third reduction rule (VTR)”; and 2.) The “presumed maximum value rule (PMV).” These rules are explained in detail in this section of the Handbook for more information. See also §2145, §2143, §2147, §2144 and §2147.

2143. What is the Value of One-Third Reduction Rule?
The value of the One-Third Reduction Rule is the value of the one-third reduction. This amount can be contested, however. so it important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2142, §2167, and Section 2143.5.

2144. What is the Presumed Maximum Value Rule?
The SSA presumes any in kind income is a value is not more than an amount equal to one-third of the applicable Federal Benefits Rate (FBR) plus $20. Unlike the value of the one-third reduction, the presumed maximum value amount can be contested, so it important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2142.4.

2145. What is a Temporary Absence, and how Does this Relate to In-kind Support and Maintenance?
You may be temporary absent form a permanent living arrangement due a number of reasons such as employment, hospitalization, vacations, or visits, and when you are temporarily absent from a permanent living arrangement, then the SSA allows in-kind support and maintenance to continue to be valued based on your permanent living arrangement, and the SSA, therefore, does not count in-kind support and maintenance you receive during your temporary absence. It still important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2167.

2146. What does it mean when someone is Acting as an “Agent”?
A Agent is someone who is acting on behalf of the individual and this is not uncommon. It important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also Chapter 16.

2147. What are the Tables of Federal Benefit Rates, One-third Reduction Values, and Presumed Maximum Values?
In certain situations, a person is expected to share financial responsibility for another individual like a parent or a spouse if you are a child, so the resources and income of that person(s) are used to determine your eligibility. There are Tables in the Handbook that show this in detail so it important that you read this section of the Handbook for more detailed information. See also §2167.

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