TN 22 (02-93)

SI 00820.500 Earned Income Exclusions - General


Social Security Act – Section 1612(b);
20 CFR 416.1112

A. Policy

1. General

The source and amount of all earned income must be determined, but not all earned income counts when determining SSI eligibility and payment amount.

2. Other Federal laws

First, income is excluded as authorized by other Federal laws.

3. Other earned income

Then, other income exclusions are applied, in the following order, to the rest of earned income in the month:

  1. a. 

    Earned income tax credit payments (effective January 1, 1991) and child tax credit payments

  2. b. 

    Up to $30 of earned income in a calendar quarter if it is infrequent or irregular.

  3. c. 

    Earned income of blind or disabled student children up to the student earned income exclusion (SEIE) monthly limit , but not more than the SEIE yearly limit. (See SI 00820.510 for monthly and yearly SEIE limits)

  4. d. 

    Any portion of the $20 monthly general income exclusion which has not been excluded from unearned income in that same month

  5. e. 

    $65 of earned income in a month

  6. f. 

    Earned income of disabled individuals used to pay impairment-related work expenses

  7. g. 

    One-half of remaining earned income in a month

  8. h. 

    Earned income of blind individuals used to meet work expenses

  9. i. 

    Any earned income used to fulfill an approved plan to achieve self-support.

4. Unused exclusion

Earned income is never reduced below zero. Any unused earned income exclusion is never applied to unearned income.

Any unused portion of a monthly exclusion cannot be carried over for use in subsequent months.

5. Couples

The $20 general and $65 earned income exclusions are applied only once to a couple, even when both members (whether eligible or ineligible) have income, since the couple's earned income is combined in determining SSI payments.

B. References

For exclusions which apply to both earned and unearned income, see:

  • Infrequent or Irregular Income -- SI 00810.410

  • $20 Per Month General Exclusion -- SI 00810.420

  • Plan to Achieving Self-Support (PASS) as an Income Exclusions -- SI 00810.430

    Plans to Achieve Self-Support — Overview -- SI 00870.001

For exclusions applicable only to earned income, see:

  • Student Earned Income Exclusion -- SI 00820.510

  • $65 Plus One-Half Remainder Per Month Earned Income Exclusion -- SI 00820.520

  • Blind Work Expenses -- SI 00820.535

  • Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) -- SI 00820.540

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) -- SI 00830.060.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
SI 00820.500 - Earned Income Exclusions - General - 02/23/2009
Batch run: 08/21/2014