Skip to content
Social Security Online
Automatic Increases
Office of the Chief Actuary SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

Countable Income for SSI Program

Automatic Increases

SSI Annual Report

SSI payment standard

Income definition
Income is anything you receive during a calendar month and use to meet your needs for food, clothing, or shelter. It may be in cash or in kind. In-kind income is not cash; it is food, clothing, shelter, or something you can use to get food, clothing, or shelter.

Countable Income definition
Countable income is the amount left over after:

  • Eliminating from consideration all items that are not income; and
  • Applying all appropriate exclusions to the items that are income.
Countable income is determined on a calendar month basis. It is the amount actually subtracted from the maximum Federal benefit to determine your eligibility and to compute your monthly payment amount.

Student earned income exclusion
Of the several income exclusions that may apply, only one — the student earned income exclusion — has maximum amounts which increase with the cost of living as measured by the COLA. This exclusion applies to a blind or disabled child who is a student regularly attending school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training. Portal to U.S. government agencies Privacy Policy  | Website Policies & Other Important Information  | Site Map
Last reviewed or modified Wednesday Aug 13, 2008
Need Larger Text?