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How does the Student Earned Income Exclusion affect SSI benefits?

Oklahomans who are receiving Social Security disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program, are under age 22 and regularly attend school need to be aware of the Student Earned Income Exclusion. This allows people who fall into this category to exclude income and still receive SSI benefits. Since SSI is based on need, this is important. The amount generally changes on an annual basis and, for 2017, the amount that can be excluded is $1,790 per month and can be as much as $7,200 per year.

The term "regularly attending school" can be confusing, so it is essential to understand what it means. The person falls into one of the following criteria: he or she is in a college or university and attends for a minimum of eight hours per week; the person is in grades seven to 12 for a minimum of 12 hours per week; the person takes part in a training course to learn skills for employment and does so for a minimum of 12 hours per week or 15 hours per week if it includes shop practice; the person is home schooled for a minimum of 12 hours per week and the laws regarding home schooling in the state are met; the person attends school for less time than listed above for reasons that he or she has no control over.

If the person is homebound due to a disability, he or she can be considered a student if: the studies are of courses given by a school from grades seven to 12, it is a college, university or government agency; or another person enters the home to provide tutoring or training.

Many people who meet the requirements to receive SSI benefits would like to earn income while attending school, but are concerned that it will negatively affect their benefits. The Student Earned Income Exclusion is a protective shield against that. For concerns or issues related to this, discussing the case with a legal professional experienced in all aspects of SSI Supplemental Security Income is imperative.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Student Earned Income Exclusion -- 2017 Edition," accessed on June 26, 2017

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