Parent Focus: Four Ways Benefits Support Work

A Job + SSI = More Money

Getting a job doesn’t mean your child will stop getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI makes sure your child will be better off when working.

SSI Rules that Help Young People who Get Jobs

SSI is based on financial need. That’s why people worry that if they get jobs, they’ll lose their SSI benefits. These rules show why you don’t need to worry:

  • The Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) means that if your child gets a job while in school, his or her SSI benefit probably won’t go down. That means your child will get money from work and SSI at the same time.
  • With the SEIE, anyone under 22 and regularly attending school can make up to $2,290 per month up to a total of $9,230 in a year, without having that money reduce their SSI benefits at all!
  • If your child doesn’t qualify for the SEIE, working is still a good idea, because SSI counts less than half of what a person earns at a job when calculating his or her benefit.
The bottom line

If your child is in school and under 22, the SEIE means he or she can work and keep getting as much SSI as ever. For every additional dollar your child earns that is not excluded by the SEIE, your child’s SSI benefits amount will only go down by 50 cents. No matter what, SSI's rules mean that your child will have more money overall while working.

Learn more about the SEIE.


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