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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35381
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: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months 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.

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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,