Four Towers

How much money is too much to get SSI

Here is a common problem. You apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but then Social Security tells you that your spouse is making too much money for you to be eligible.

How much is too much?

To be eligible for Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your countable income has to be less than the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). According to Social Security, countable income is the amount left after, “eliminating from consideration all items that are not income; and applying all appropriate exclusions to the items that are income.” Then, “the amount actually subtracted from the maximum Federal benefit to determine your eligibility and to compute your monthly payment amount.”

In 2015, the FBR is $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples. This page lists the Federal Benefit Rates back to 1998. So, your spouse has to be making less than these amounts to keep you eligible for SSI benefits. At least, that is the best answer I am able to find to this surprisingly tricky question.

I am not addressing the difference between countable income and non-countable income. For that I refer you to your local Social Security office. This is just to give you a ball-park idea of how much of your spouse’s income may be too much. I encourage anyone trying to find out if they qualify financially for SSI, to check with Social Security.

  • Evone

    if a person is married is it always concidered joint even if they get the checks seperate? What is countable income? If a person wants to take money out of a 401 k how much can you take out before it counts against you. Does it count for the both of you if you receive you own ss check when you take out money for your own personal use? ahhhhh this is horrible. Hope you can help:)

  • TomaszStasiuk

    This may help:

    However, you should also contact SSA.

  • guest

    I dont get it. how in the world can a couple live on a thousand dollars a month income?

    • TomaszStasiuk

      I wish I had an answer for you.

      However, if you find yourself deciding whether you are financially eligible for SSI, I always encourage people to check with Social Security to see if you qualify.

  • Shotgunkididz

    Can my son’s wife get disability with him working and making a little over a thousand a month with two boys under 3   in Delaware?