The income of a spouse who is not eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be deemed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be available you as an SSI recipient. The rules for determining exactly how much of your spouse's income is deemed are very complex. You must contact your SSA Claims Representative to find out how much earned and unearned income SSA deems from your spouse.
Here is a general explanation of how SSA calculates spousal deeming:
SSA first excludes all of the types of income that are excluded when determining the countable income of SSI recipients as well as some additional types, such as any income used by a public income-maintenance program to determine the amount of that program's benefit to someone else.
SSA then deducts an allocation for each child that is not eligible for SSI. The amount excluded for each child is the difference between the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) and an individual and the FBR for a couple. SSA deducts first from your unearned income, and then from your earned income.
If your spouse's income (after exclusions and deductions) is greater than the difference between FBR for individuals and the FBR for couples, SSA calculates your cash benefit as if you were a couple receiving SSI. SSA then compares that calculated benefit amount with the amount you would get if you were an individual without spousal deeming. You then get the lower of the two amounts.
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