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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 36117
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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A member of the Church I pastor receives $733/mo from SSI,

Customer Question

A member of the Church I pastor receives $733/mo from SSI, is on food stamps, Medicaid and gets MO circuit breaker home property tax help. If she were to have someone move in with her and pay a little rent - would that be deducted from her SSI? If she charged $400 - would SSI deduct all the difference between $999 & 733+400? Should she ask for rent payments? any other advice helpful too.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Pastor,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Under SSI rules, a person is allowed to have no more than 733 a month in unearned income to remain eligible for SSI. Unearned income is that received for things such as rent, gifts and such---as opposed to earned income from actual labor. While $400 in rent each month would not result in her losing her SSI benefit, it would result in a significant decrease. SSI doesn't count the first $20 of unearned income. However, everything above that results in a dollar for dollar loss to the present SSI benefit.

So for all realistic purposes, she will not benefit from bringing in a roommate. She would be much better off if she were able to actually earn income. Because earned income is treated differently. The first $85 of monthly wages is not counted and then only half of the remaining will be taken from her SSI benefit. So earning $400 per month in wages would result in only a decrease in her SSI benefit by $157.00 per month.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,