Do you know about the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) exclusion? This is a work incentive for students in the Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To be eligible, you must meet the following conditions:
- Age under 22 years;
- Regularly attending school, college or training to prepare for a paying job;*
If these conditions are met, Social Security will exclude up to $2,040 per month of your earnings. There is an annual maximum exclusion of $8,230 (2022).
Maximum Payment for Students
This means that for most students, all earnings during the year can be excluded, so you can receive the maximum SSI payment.
The SEIE can be applied whether you are single or married.
The SEIE also can make the difference between getting some Federal SSI and getting no Federal SSI payment. This may be important if you currently get a small or no SSI payment because you have other income (such as SSDI). Remember: if you get at least $1 of Federal SSI, you also get the State SSI supplement.
How to Request SEIE
No form or process is needed to request the SEIE. However, it is a good idea to note your student status in writing when you report a job. Social Security often asks for proof of student status once you reach age 18. For proof, you can submit grades, enrollment, class schedules, etc.
If you think you are eligible, contact your local Social Security representative to explore this valuable work incentive or talk to a work incentive benefits specialist.
Regularly Attending School*
The definition of “regularly attending school” is to take one or more courses of study, and attend class:
- For grades 7-12, at least 12 hours per week;
- For students in an 18-21 year old transition program, at least 12 hours in courses designed to prepare the student for a paying job;
- In a college or university, at least 8 hours per week;
- In a training course to prepare for employment, at least 12 hours per week (15 hours per week if the course involves shop practice).
Holidays and Breaks
During breaks in the school year, you remain a student for purposes of the SEIE if you attend classes regularly just before the break, and plan to attend classes when school restarts. So, earnings from summer jobs between school years can be excluded. When you graduate or schooling otherwise ends, the SEIE ends the last month that you are a student.
More Information about the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE):