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Student Earned Income Exclusion

If you are:

                   Under 22 years of age; and

                   Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and

                   Regularly attending school;

then during calendar year 2015, you can have up to $1,780 per month of earnings (up to $7,180 per year) without having those earnings decrease your SSI cash benefits. This exclusion is to encourage you either to work during the summer months or to participate in work programs during the school year.

NOTE: Before April 2005, students who were married or heads of household were not eligible for the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) even if they met the other criteria to be considered a student. Eligibility was expanded under H.R. 743, the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-203). Effective April 1, 2005 you can qualify for the SEIE if you are under age 22 and you are a student regularly attending school.

The full amount of your earnings, up to the monthly limit, is excluded until you reach your yearly limit. The yearly limit applies to a calendar year, not a school year or the previous 12 months. You may not spread out this exclusion over the year by including only a portion of your earnings each month. Earnings in excess of the monthly or annual limits are not excludable. Earnings received prior to the your month of eligibility for SSI do not count toward the yearly limit.

The SEIE applies to earnings deemed from a spouse who does not get SSI and who is a student under age 22, or earnings deemed from parent(s) who are students under age 22, and it applies jointly to the earned income of eligible couples when both members are under age 22. If both members of a couple or both deemor parents are students, the SEIE applies only once to the combined earnings of the couple/parents. (The SEIE does not apply when one member is a non-working student and the other member works but is not a student.)

Prior Year Limits

For other years, see the limits in the table below:

Effective Date



January 2015



January 2014



January 2013



January 2012



January 2011



January 2010



January 2009



January 2008



January 2007



January 2006



January 2005



January 2004



January 2003



January 2002



January 2001



2000 or earlier




NOTE: In the 2001 version of its "Red Book," the Social Security Administration (SSA) began using the term "Employment Supports" in place of "Work Incentives." See the SSA Red Book topic for additional information. The latest version of SSA's Red Book on Employment Support is available at:

See Also:

SSI Work Incentives

Work Incentives Overview


Some information for this topic was drawn from the SSA website at:

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