How Much Money Can a Parent Make for a Child to Get SSI?

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  • How much money can a parent make for a child to get SSI? If your child needs financial support from SSI, the SSA may ask about your income. Learn more below.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a multilevel formula for working out how much parental income can be counted for eligibility assessment. This process is called deeming. The SSA deems parents’ incomes in two categories, depending on whether the income is earned or unearned. Single parents may collect SSI for their eligible children with unearned income as high as $1,998 a month. Two-parent households may qualify with up to $2,390 in unearned income.

Parents with earned income may earn up to $3,649 a month for single parents with one eligible child, or $4,433 for two-parent households. Higher limits apply for families with more than one eligible child in the home. Families with two parents and five eligible children may be eligible for SSI with monthly earned income of up to $6,393.

What Is SSI?

SSI is the supplemental income program operated by the Social Security Administration. Income from this program is intended to support people with low incomes and a qualifying disability. Minor children with a disability or who are blind, may be eligible for a monthly cash benefit that can be spent like any other income. Children who qualify for SSI get an average of $655 a month, though this amount partly depends on the degree to which the recipient is disabled and the family’s income and assets. Award amounts in 2021 total $794 for each qualifying child.

How Does the SSA Evaluate Parental Income?

The amount of money each child receives in SSI support is subject to reduction if the parents are deemed to earn more than the federal maximum threshold.

The SSA encourages parents of beneficiaries to continue earning income by staggering its program reductions at a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, the SSA reduces SSI benefits by $1 for every $2 the parents earn from other sources. Parents’ incomes are largely determined using self-reporting at the time an application is submitted. The reported amounts may be checked against tax returns, paystubs and other proof of income documents.