How will receiving child support affect my child's SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assist people with a limited income who are blind or disabled.  This program may also cover an eligible child who is not married and under the age of 18 (or under the age of 22, if a full-time student).  One of the most common questions a parent or guardian may have is how SSI eligibility and benefits will be affected for a child receiving child support.

The Social Security Administration defines child support as payments from a parent to be used for a child’s needs, such as food and shelter.   These payments are classified as unearned income for the eligible child.  Currently, one-third of monthly child support payments are excluded from countable income when calculating the benefit amount for a child approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  The remaining two-thirds of the monthly child support payment is countable income and may be used to reduce the amount of SSI benefits a child will receive.

For example, a parent has custody of one child who has been approved for Supplemental Security Income benefits and receives $240 per month in child support from the absent parent for the support and maintenance of the child.  When calculating the SSI benefits for the child, the Social Security Administration will exclude $80 of the child support payments, and the remaining $160 will be subtracted from the SSI Federal benefit rate as countable income.

It is important to note that child support is just one of several types of income that can affect your child’s eligibility and benefit amount under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.  For more information about SSI eligibility for children, or for help in determining whether your child is eligible for SSI, call our office today and schedule a free consultation at 1-877-JANDILS.

(Written by special guest blogger Cheli Dyer, Attorney)

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